Appeal to The ECHR for our Co-Chairs

Appeal to The ECHR for our Co-Chairs

An application has been filed with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding the continuing unlawful imprisonment of our Co-Chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ.

The application filed by our delegation that includes our Co-Deputy-Chair Saruhan Oluç, Our Parliamentary Group Deputy Chair Filiz Kerestecioğlu, our Members of Parliament Osman Baydemir, Ertuğrul Kürkçü and Mithat Sancar, our Strasbourg Representative Faik Yağızay and lawyer Reyhan Yalçındağ underlines the fact that the failure of the Constitutional Court to carry out any investigation has necessitated an application to the European Court of Human Rights.

The application stated that the continuing imprisonment pending trial of the Co-Chairs of the HDP - the third largest political party of Turkey in terms of votes received in the most recent general election - because of actions they took part in and press statements they organized as representatives of their electorate and party, constitutes a violation of the right to freedom and security, freedom of speech and the right to free elections as protected by both the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights - and that the situation is particularly critical as Turkey is now heading for a referendum on April 16.

The application also once again draws attention to the facts that; the party buildings and election offices and vehicles of the HDP suffered 22 attacks in 2014, 106 attacks before the June 7 elections in 2015, and 36 attacks in 2016; 9,796 people have been detained and 2,906 people have been arrested within the scope of operations targeting the HDP, DBP [Democratic Regions Party] and their affiliates since 22 July 2015; and only since July 2016, a total of 5,471 people have been detained, and 1,482 people have been arrested, including Co-Chairs Demirtaş and Yüksekdağ and MPs.

The ECHR application also underscores that detentions and arrests targeting the silencing and punishment of the opposition working to organize an effective 'No' campaign during the referendum process have become increasingly arbitrary and systematic and are politically motivated.

Noting the fact that an application had been filed by the HDP at the Constitutional Court (AYM) 95 days ago, to which the AYM has failed to provide a response, we also urged the ECHR to apply its own judicial precedents and universal principles of the rule of law.

20 February 2017