Human Rights in Turkey Politcs

Opposition HDP applies to ECHR over arrest of co-chairs

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The People’s Democracy Party (HDP) has announced plans to file an application to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding the continued arrest of the party’s co-leaders, Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ. 

Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has filed an application at the European Court of Human Rights regarding the continued arrest of its co-leaders , Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag.


The application was filed in Strasbourg on Monday by a delegation including the party’s deputy leader Saruhan Oluc, group deputy chairman Filiz Kerestecioglu and MPs Mithat Sancar, Ertugrul Kurkcu and Osman Baydemir.

In a statement published on Monday, party officials said that the failure of Turkey’s Constitutional Court to carry out an investigation into its Yuksekdag and Demirtas’ imprisonment has necessitated an application to the European court, the ECHR.

A total of 13 HDP politicians were arrested in November 2016 on terrorism-related charges after their parliamentary immunity was lifted last March . 10 of these MPs, including the party’s co-leaders, remain in custody pending trial.


In its application to the ECHR, the party argued that the continuing imprisonment of their co-leaders constituted “a violation of the right to freedom and security, freedom of speech and the right to free elections as protected by both the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights”.

The HDP, the Turkish parliament’s third-biggest party, said in its application that since the failed coup attempt in July 2016, 5,471 people have been taken into custody and 1,482 people have been arrested within the scope of operations targeting the HDP and its supporters.

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