ECtHR rules that the arrest of 13 HDP deputies was 'politically motivated'
Similar to the decision about former HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş, the court concluded that the arrests were politically motivated, which violated article 18 of the ECHR.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has announced its judgment regarding the arrest of 13 Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputies.
The MPs were arrested unfairly, their arrests were continued unjustly, and their freedom of expression and right to elect and be elected were violated, the court ruled today.
Similar to the decision about the former HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş, the court concluded that the arrests were politically motivated, which violated article 18 of the ECHR.
The decision concerns the following politicians: Figen Yüksekdağ, İdris Baluken, Besime Konca, Abdullah Zeydan, Nihat Akdoğan, Selma Irmak, Ferhat Encü, Gülser Yıldırım, Nursel Aydoğan, Çağlar Demirel, Ayhan Bilgen, Burcu Çelik and Leyla Birlik.
All the politicians were elected in the November 2015 parliamentary elections. Twelve of them were arrested on November 4, 2016, and one was arrested in 2017.
"They should be released immediately"
The decision means the MPs were arrested with political motives in line with the government's instructions, lawyer Ramazan Demir told Bianet.
After the decisions about Demirtaş and Osman Kavala, the European court ruled for the third time that Turkey violated article 18 of the convention, he noted.
"With this verdict of the ECtHR, the operation on November 4, 2016, has collapsed, and it has been legally demonstrated that it was carried out for political purposes. In the verdict, it is stated that all the statements of the politicians that were the subject of charges were within the scope of freedom of expression.
Turkey has the right to appeal today's decision, he said, however, adding, "Even if the file is brought to the ECtHR Grand Chamber, the court has determined all the principles in its Demirtaş decision. For this reason, there will be no change in the decision."
Following this decision, all MPs on trial should be released and the charges against them should be dropped, he noted.
Also, some of the politicians' statements that were the subject of charges were also included in the Kobanî trial. Thus, charges should be dropped in that case as well, he added.
Right to election was violated
The politicians had applied to the ECtHR on the grounds that they had been arrested because of their political statements after their appeals were rejected by domestic courts.
In their applications, they said they had been arrested without reasonable suspicion and despite being members of the parliament.
The ECtHR ruled that the politicians' freedom of expression was violated as per article 10 of the convention.
It also ruled that Turkey violated the principle of a lawful arrest, trial within a reasonable time and the right to access the case file as per article 5 of the ECHR.