UN group says Turkey coup case defendants deprived of liberty
Hürriyet PhotoThe United Nations-mandated Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has released its opinion on the “Balyoz” (Sledgehammer) coup plot case, saying the defendants faced “deprivation of liberty” regarding three articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
According to a document sent to 250 detained defendants, who applied to the group last year, dated July 5, the court hearing the case violated three articles of the declaration.
The group concluded “deprivation of liberty of the 250 detained defendants in the Balyoz or Sledgehammer cases in arbitrary, in contravention of articles 9 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well as articles 9, 10, and 11 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
Article 9 reads, “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile” while Article 10 states “Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.”
Some 250 of the defendants in the Balyoz coup plot case, which lasted for roughly three years, have been under arrest, including former Air Force Cmdr. Gen. Halil İbrahim Fırtına, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy Engin Alan, 1st Army Cmdr. Gen. Çetin Doğan, and other retired generals. Last week, the Supreme Court of Appeals started hearing the appeals into the landmark case, where a number of top brass officials were tried with charges of coup plotting for the first time in the history of the Turkish Republic. The case started after daily Taraf revealed in 2010 the findings of an alleged seven-year coup plan.