No violation of right to life in Demirtaş’ case, says ECHR
Selahattin Demirtas, co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, HDP, applauds supporters during an election rally in Istanbul, Turkey, Saturday, May 30, 2015. AP PhotoThe European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) decided on June 23 that there was no violation of the European charter’s article on the right to life in a case concerning Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, who had complained that he had been exposed to a risk of death due to an article published in a local newspaper in 2007.
A local newspaper in Turkey’s northern province of Bolu, the Bolu Express, published an article headlined “Turk, here is your enemy” (Türk, işte karşında düşmanın) on Oct. 11, 2007, in which the name of Demirtaş, who was a member of the Party for a Democratic Society (DTP), a pro-Kurdish political party whose closure was ordered in 2009, was cited with 20 fellow DTP members. The individuals named in the article were said to be “the enemy” of the Turkish nation and “real murderers.”
Demirtaş had lodged a complaint against the author of the article, identified only as I.E., at a local court, but the prosecutor declined to take any legal proceedings. His appeal was also dismissed in 2008.
Demirtaş complained under Articles 2 and 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights that although he had been exposed to a risk of death on account of the content of the article, the domestic authorities had failed to punish I.E.
The ECHR reportedly considered that the complaints needed to be examined solely from the standpoint of Article 2 of the Convention, on the right to life.
On June 23, the ECHR ruled by six votes to one that there had been no violation of Article 2 of the Convention, thus not sentencing Turkey to any fines.