Turkey submits defense on arrested HDP deputies to European Court of Human Rights
Turkey on Nov. 24 submitted its defense to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding the cases of jailed Kurdish-issue focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş and other HDP deputies, Doğan News Agency has reported.
Demirtaş has been in jail since Nov. 4, 2016, along with eight other deputies of the party, including Figen Yüksekdağ, a former co-chair.
Turkey’s 130-page submission, which complies with the final deadline set by the European court, also includes the government’s defense for imprisoning other HDP deputies, who have now been released, in the case titled “Demirtaş and Friends.”
The ECHR subsequently forwarded Turkey’s defense to the HDP, inviting the latter to make its submission by Jan. 8, 2018.
The European court had marked the case of the imprisoned HDP lawmakers as “urgent,” demanding that Ankara provide statements on the arrested deputies by July 17.
Ankara had requested two extensions before the ECHR set a final deadline for Nov. 24.
Deustche Welle reported that Turkey has also submitted its defense over the arrest of German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yücel.
Ankara was given until Nov. 28 to send its defense in the case involving Die Welt reporter Yücel, who has been under arrest on terror charges since February.
Yücel’s arrest has been a major source of tension in the already strained Turkish-German ties.
The ECHR rejected Turkey’s third request for additional time regarding its defense in the cases of jailed daily Cumhuriyet journalists.