The HDP parliamentary group in Turkey has once again called for the implementation of the ECtHR ruling in the case of Selahattin Demirtaş. The European Court of Human Rights had ordered the immediate release of the former HDP leader, who has been imprisoned for over four years, at the end of 2020.
The press conference in front of the parliament building was attended by numerous deputies of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). The politicians wore smocks with the inscription “Justice for all” and signs that read “Implement ECtHR ruling!”. The statement was delivered by the vice co-chairs of the parliamentary group, Meral Danış Beştaş and Saruhan Oluç.
Oluç pointed out that the ECtHR ruling of December 22, 2020, has not been implemented to date: “Two and a half months have passed. We have been waiting for 72 days for the ruling to be applied. We have also not yet heard that any corresponding steps have been taken. Next week, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe will meet from March 9 to 11. The implementation of the ECHR judgment on Demirtaş will be discussed at this meeting. Turkey will be discussed one more time.”
In its ruling, the ECtHR found violations of rights on five issues, Oluç continued. Among other things, it found that the arrests of the HDP deputies were executed for political reasons. This finding is particularly significant at the moment, he said, because a ban on the HDP is in the offing and, after more than six years, a trial for the “Kobanê protests” in 2014 and investigations have been launched against HDP deputies for the removal of their parliamentary immunity: “This is clearly a political plot by the ruling coalition to silence the HDP and exclude it from the political arena. There is not the slightest legal connection.”
Meral Danış Beştaş also addressed the ongoing proceedings to lift parliamentary immunity of the HDP deputies. Prosecutors, she said, have entered into a competition on behalf of the government to present alleged evidence. In the meantime, he said, there were nearly a thousand prosecutorial reports that were supposed to serve as the basis for the action.
The deputy co-chair of the parliamentary group appealed to the judiciary and the police: “Do not trust the AKP. Do not trust it, because you could fall by the wayside. You know where your predecessors are today. Do not put your signature under documents of lawlessness. It is quite possible that one day the president of this country will say that he was misled. He may also say other things. Therefore, we advise you; be yourself. This is not an order; nothing is further from our minds than manipulating the judiciary. We are merely suggesting that you do what the judicial system provides.”