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The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has extended the time granted to the government of Turkey concerning the detention of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MPs for the second time. The
ECtHR had extended the time granted to the government of Turkey to November 10. The new deadline is now November 24.
In a statement issued by the HDP, it was stated that “The ECtHR declared that November 24 is the final deadline and there won’t be another extension”.
As to the HDP’s application to the ECtHR, lastly the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) consisting of parliamentarians of United Nations (UN) countries has become a party to case.
The ECtHR had also granted the requests of Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks, ARTICLE 19 and Human Rights Watch to become a third party in the trial earlier.
Application process to the ECtHR
On February 20, 2017, a delegation consisting of HDP Group Deputy Chair Filiz Kerestecioğlu, Vice Co-Chair Saruhan Oluç, deputies Mithat Sancar, Ertuğrul Kürkçü and Osman Baydemir, and human rights advocate lawyer Reyhan Yalçındağ submitted an application to the ECtHR for HDP’s arrested Co-Chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, and its MP İdris Baluken for whom a detention warrant was issued despite his medical condition.
In the application submitted to the ECtHR today, HDP said:
“It is a violation of the right to freedom and security protected by the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights that Co-Chairs of the HDP, the third party with the most votes, have to stand trial in detention on remand, especially in the course of the referendum, for events they have attended on behalf of its electors and the party and the press conferences they have organized”.
Attacks on HDP
The application also pointed out that
– the buildings, election bureaus and equipments of the HDP had been attacked 22 times in 2014, 106 times in 2015 before the June 7 General Elections, and 36 times in 2016,
Arbitrary and systematic arrest with political agenda
In the application, it was also underlined, that there was a political agenda behind the detentions and arrests which became arbitrary and systematic aiming at silencing and punishing the opposition trying to get organized for the “No” Campaign.
After the legislative proposal on the Constitutional amendments concerning lifting parliamentary immunity of the MPs against who was subjected to summary of proceedings, had been passed in the Grand National Assembly (TBMM) General Assembly on May 20, 2016, many HDP MPs had been taken into custody, some were later released and others were arrested.
Five MPs including the party’s Co-Chair Figen Yüksekdağ, have been relieved of her MP duties.
11 of the arrested MPs are still behind bars. (AS/TK)