HDP calls for the release of jailed politicians after the ECtHR ruling
The Peoples’ Democratic Party said that the ECtHR has once again condemned Turkey for violating the rights of their fellow party members, reiterating their call for the release of jailed politicians.
The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Law and Human Rights Commission’s Co-spokespersons Nuray Özdoğan and Serhat Eren released a written statement about Tuesday’s ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) which 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, said the court and concluded that the arrests were politically motivated, which violated article 18 of the ECHR.
“As the political coup against our party marks its 7th year, the ECtHR has recently ruled that the arrest of our 13 lawmakers including our former Co-Chair Figen Yüksekdağ, our Group Deputy Chairs İdris Baluken and Çağlar Demirel and Women's Assembly Spokeswoman, Besime Konca was a violation of their fundamental rights. In its previous ‘Kerestecioğlu and Encü 39 others/Turkey’ decision, the ECtHR had ruled that the lifting of political immunity of our deputies following the May 20, 2016 constitutional amendment, which led to their arrest, was a violation of their rights,” the HDP statement said.
“As in Demirtaş’s case, the Court has ruled that the detention of our deputies constituted a violation of the right to liberty and security regulated by Article 5 of the Convention, freedom of expression regulated by Article 10, the right to elect and be elected mentioned in Protocol No. 1, and Article 18 concerning violation of the prohibition of arrest for political motives. It is of historical importance as the court ruled that the arrest of 13 deputies violates Article 18, which had been cited for the first time in the Demirtaş and Kavala cases and caused Turkey to be subject to infringement proceedings by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. At the time, we repeatedly told the members of the judiciary who executed many unlawful arrests that this judicial war against elected Kurdish politicians and HDP members would not be upheld by the international legal mechanisms to which Turkey is a party.
Those who had been a party to this coup, however, relied on the political government and did not desist from making unlawful decisions. Today, the ECtHR has once again called on Turkish authorities to “stop interfering in the right to be elected” and openly ruled that the arrest of the deputies was politically motivated, citing details regarding violations of rights.
This political coup was initiated following our party's success in the June 7 elections, and the AKP losing the majority to form the government alone for the first time. Since many political developments, including the 2017 referendum which marked the transition to the current political regime, took place after the arrest of our friends and the lifting of political immunity of the HDP lawmakers, the ECtHR’s landmark decision will shed light on our recent political history.
As everyone will remember, the turning point of increasingly ongoing unlawfulness was the political coup of November 4, 2016. Since then, many of our deputies have been arrested, sentenced for their constitutional activities, exiled or stripped of their parliamentary immunity. In the meantime, trustees were appointed to our municipalities and not only our elected officials, but also millions of people who voted for our party were wanted sentenced. Similar practices have increased uninterruptedly since, including the Kobanî Conspiracy Trial and many other lawsuits that have been introduced to turn truths upside down, the closure case brought against our party, and trustees appointed to the municipalities that we won in the 2019 local elections.
The immediate release of our unlawfully detained friends is a universal legal and constitutional obligation for Turkey. We will continue to follow the process and our uninterrupted struggle in order for the ECtHR ruling to be implemented as soon as possible.”