European Council signs declaration for jailed MPs

European Council signs declaration for jailed MPs

European Council signs declaration for jailed MPs

İzmir deputy from the Republican People’s Party and columnist Mustafa Balbay has been in prison since March 2009 and was kept alone for more than one year. Hürriyet photo

Some 30 deputies from the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly have signed a declaration
expressing grave concern about the situation regarding detained MPs in Turkey.

“We view the situation of our colleagues in Turkey with grave concern. Their treatment is in contradiction with the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding ‘deprivation of liberty’ and with its First Protocol regarding ‘the right to vote and be elected,’” the declaration read.

“This state of affairs is also in violation of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), regarding the right to participate in political life,” it continued.

Eight deputies from three different political parties are all still being held in custody due to ongoing court cases against them. Several have been incarcerated for nearly three years.

Their continued detention constitutes a transgression of “their right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty as enshrined in the ICCPR and the ECHR. We urge all those concerned in Turkey to create those conditions that would allow these rightfully elected deputies to perform their parliamentary duties bestowed on them by the will of the people,” the declaration said.

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has two deputies in jail, Mustafa Balbay and Mehmet Haberal, while the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has one retired general, Engin Alan, inside. The Kurdish problem-focused Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) currently has five deputies in prison.