Spokesperson for the Council of Europe (CoE) stated that the case regarding Turkey’s non-compliance with the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the case of Selahattin Demirtaş will be reviewed once again in the meeting of the Committee of Ministers on 8-10 March.
Speaking to Didem Mercan from Duvar, spokesperson Andrew Cutting said:
“The Grand Chamber’s ruling on 22 December 2020 in the case of Selahattin Demirtaş versus Turkey, a ruling yet to be implemented by Turkey, is before the Committee of Ministers. The Committee had reviewed this case previously in its meeting in December 2021 and strongly demanded that the applicant is immediately released. The Committee will have its next discussion on the case regarding implementation of ECHR decisions in its special meeting on 8-10 March 2022.”
The ECHR had ruled on 22 December 2020 that in detaining Demirtaş and then prolonging his detention for over four years, the Turkish government pursued an ulterior purpose of preventing him from carrying out his political activities, depriving voters of their elected representative, and ‘stifling pluralism and limiting freedom of political debate: the very core concept of a democratic society.’ The Court had ordered the immediate release of Demirtaş.
The CoE Committee of Ministers had then called upon Turkey to immediately implement the ECHR decision and release Demirtaş on 3 December 2021.
Demirtaş was stripped of his parliamentary status as an MP and taken into custody in November 2016 while he was serving as the co-chair of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP). He has since then, been incarcerated in conditions of isolation at a high security prison in Turkey’s western-most province of Edirne.
In a similar case, the ECHR had ruled that Osman Kavala, a human rights defender imprisoned in Turkey, should also be immediately released. Turkey has not yet complied with that decision either.