Ruling AKP deputy against BDP deputies’ arrest

Ruling AKP deputy against BDP deputies’ arrest

Ruling AKP deputy against BDP deputies’ arrest

‘If Balbay is released, İbrahim Ayhan should be released too,’ Üstün says.

The head of Parliament’s Human Rights Inquiry Commission, Ayhan Sefer Üstün, has voiced his objection on legal grounds to the courts’ rejection of appeals for the release of five Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) lawmakers.

Üstün, of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), however, also objected to the ongoing hunger strike being staged by a group of deputies in protest at the related rulings.

“When we compare with Balbay’s situation, the crime attributed to Ayhan is lighter. He’s being tried on a charge for which he will get a lower penalty if convicted,” Üstün told the state-run Anadolu Agency yesterday.

He recently led the Human Rights Inquiry Commission’s visit to Şanlıurfa Prison where the group he was with met BDP deputy İbrahim Ayhan. 

“When we look at the lengthy detention period, he has been under arrest for a period at least as long as Balbay's, and he is also an elected person like Balbay. If Balbay was released according to this ruling of the Constitutional Court - and we welcomed his release - then İbrahim Ayhan should have been released 10 times over, as he’s being tried for a lighter crime and he is not even convicted,” he added.

Earlier this week, Diyarbakır 5th and 6th High Criminal Courts’ refused the release of five jailed lawmakers elected from the BDP. Hopes for the release of five BDP deputies had been heightened when main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) jailed deputy Balbay was freed on Dec. 9 after the Constitutional Court ruled on Dec. 4 that his pre-trial detention had violated his rights. 

Gülser Yıldırım, Selma Irmak, İbrahim Ayhan, Faysal Sarıyıldız and Kemal Aktaş were all elected as BDP lawmakers from prison in the June 2011 elections. They were detained in 2009 and 2010 on charges of having links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).