CoE Committee of Ministers calls for the immediate release of Demirtaş and Yüksekdağ
The Committee of Ministers called for the immediate release of Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ who remain in detention despite the Committee’s previous calls and the interim resolution adopted to that effect at the March DH meeting.
The Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers has published the case-by-case decisions taken during the Committee’s meeting from 5 to 7 June to supervise the implementation of judgments and decisions by the European Court of Human Rights.
The Committee of Ministers adopted 38 decisions concerning 19 states during the meeting, including the cases of former co-chairs of the HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party), Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, who have been behind bars since November 2016.
The Committee of Ministers called for the immediate release of both politicians who remain in detention despite the Committee’s previous calls and the interim resolution adopted to that effect at the March DH meeting;
The Deputies recalled that in the Selahattin Demirtaş case the Court found that the applicant was detained in the absence of evidence to support a reasonable suspicion he had committed an offence and that his arrest and pre-trial detention pursued an ulterior purpose; that the lifting of the applicant’s parliamentary immunity and the way the criminal law was applied to penalise him for political speeches were not foreseeable and prescribed by law and that his consequent detention made it effectively impossible for him to take part in the activities of the National Assembly.
The Deputies expressed their deepest regret that the Constitutional Court has still not delivered its decision on the applicant’s current detention and the 22nd Assize Court has not considered alternative measures to detention and that the applicant therefore remains in detention despite the Committee’s previous calls and the interim resolution adopted to that effect at the March DH meeting;
In view of the Court’s finding under Article 18 that the applicant’s detention pursued the ulterior purpose of stifling pluralism and limiting freedom of political debate, the Deputies urged the authorities to ensure the applicant’s immediate release by exploring alternative measures to detention pending the completion of the proceedings before the Constitutional Court; furthermore decided to consider further steps if the situation of the applicant remains the same by the Committee’s next examination of the case;
In Yüksekdağ Şenoğlu and Others case, the Deputies urged the authorities to ensure the immediate release of Figen Yüksekdağ Şenoğlu who is the only applicant still detained in this case.