UN Inter-Parliamentary Union Becomes Party to HDP Trial before ECtHR

UN Inter-Parliamentary Union Becomes Party to HDP Trial before ECtHR

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Click to read the article in Turkish

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) consisting of parliamentarians of United Nations (UN) countries has become a party to case of arrested Co-Chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ and other arrested MPs of the the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) that was brought before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

IPU had applied to the ECtHR with the request to become a third party in the trial.

HDP Vice Co-Chair in charge of Foreign Affairs Hişyar Özsoy has announced that IPU's request was granted by the ECtHR.

The ECtHR had also granted the requests of Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights 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,
- 9,796 people were taken into custody and 2,906 people were arrested in operations against HDP, and Democratic Regions Party (DBP) since July 22, 2015 and 5,471 people were detained and 1,482 others were arrested including the party's Co-Chair Demirtaş, Yüksekdağ and 10 other MPs.

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.

What happened?

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.

CLICK - The Status of HDP MPs to Date

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/DG)

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