The European Court of Human Rights made a decisive ruling against the Turkish Government in the case of the imprisoned ex Co Chair of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtaş and called on the Turkish AKP Government to release him immediately.
Demirtaş had been imprisoned by the AKP government 4 years ago during Turkey’s presidential elections. The court said that the case “pursued the ulterior purpose of stifling pluralism and limiting freedom of political debate, which was at the very core of the concept of a democratic society”.
The ruling also said that his arrest in 2016 violated his freedom of expression and his right to participate in free elections.
The court ruled that Selahattin Demirtas’s human rights were violated under Article 10, Article 3, Article 18 and Article 5 of the European Human Rights Convention in relation to Freedom of Expression, Free expression of the opinion of the people, pre trial detention pursuing the ulterior motive of stifling pluralism and limiting freedom of political debate, lack of reasonable suspicion of applicant having committed an offence and lack of reasonableness of pre-trial detention.
The court fined the Turkish government €60,400 in damages, costs and expenses, and Turkey was ordered to “secure the applicant’s immediate release”.
Demirtaş has been held in pre-trial detention since November 4, 2016, when he was arrested alongside 11 other HDP members.
The ruling is by the Grand Chamber, the ECHR’s highest body, meaning its judgment is final and binding.