Top court rules rights violation for jailed former HDP co-chair, ex-CHP deputy

Top court rules rights violation for jailed former HDP co-chair, ex-CHP deputy

Top court rules rights violation for jailed former HDP co-chair, ex-CHP deputy

Turkey’s Constitutional Court has ruled that the lengthy jailing of the former Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş violated his rights, a decision published showed.

Even though the top court ruled for a rights violation, Demirtaş is not expected to be released due to a separate ongoing investigation.

Demirtaş had applied to the Constitutional Court on the grounds that his detention exceeded the maximum period the law stipulates and that it was not a “reasonable” amount of time.

The ex-HDP co-chair also said in his application that his requests for release and objections to his detention were not finalized and the necessary assessments were not made, thus violating his rights to freedom and safety.

The court’s decision said on June 19 that Demirtaş’s detention had exceeded a reasonable period. The top court said that his rights to freedom and safety were violated as stipulated by the Constitution’s Article 19, clause 7.

The court also ordered a payment of compensation, amounting to 50,000 Turkish Liras (about $7,290).

Demirtaş has been in jail since November 2016 on terrorism-related charges. He faces a sentence of up to 142 years in jail if found guilty in the main case against him.

A court ruled last September that Demirtaş should be released while his main trial continues. The Constitutional Court ruling concerns the detention for this period.

Prosecutors then launched a new investigation into him and requested his arrest again after the lifting of the previous detention order. Demirtaş denies the charges against him.

One of Demirtaş’ lawyers, Mahsuni Karaman, said that while the ruling concerned his detention up until last September, it should also be applicable to the second detention order.

“Because the second arrest order was based on the same reason it is no longer valid,” Karaman said in a tweet. “The second detention should be ended immediately.”

Separately, the Constitutional Court also ruled that the detention of former main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Eren Erdem was “not lawful.”

The court said that Erdem’s rights to freedom and security were also violated, ordering a payment of compensation of 30,000 Turkish Liras. (roughly $4,375).

An arrest warrant had been issued against Eren in June 2018 on charges of being a “member of an armed terrorist group.” He was arrested at an airport while attempting to leave the country.

Erdem was charged with illegally distributing voice recordings during a coup attempt by FETÖ on Dec. 17-25, 2013.

FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people killed and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara also accuses FETÖ of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.