Lawyers of former Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş have filed for their client’s release, citing a recent Constitutional Court ruling.
In their application submitted to the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, Demirtaş’s lawyers said that the top court ruled that the politician’s rights were violated with his extensive imprisonment.
Turkey’s Constitutional Court early on June 19 ruled that rights of Demirtaş, who has been imprisoned since Nov. 4, 2016 on charges related to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), were violated, saying that the politician’s lengthy imprisonment breaches the constitution as it exceeds the “reasonable duration.”
He wasn’t released due to another ongoing case against the former HDP co-chair.
In their application, the lawyers said that Demirtaş remained imprisoned for two years and 10 months in the case that he was tried in the 19th Heavy Penal Court, adding that his release was ruled on Sept. 2, 2019 in that case.
The Ankara court’s ruling had come following the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)’s several calls to Turkey to release Demirtaş.
Saying that the former co-chair remained imprisoned over another case, the lawyers noted that the accusations are the same.
“We ask you to end his imprisonment that violates his rights to freedom an security,” they said.
Demirtaş is being kept in prison like a political hostage, CHP says
Elsewhere, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Group Deputy Chair Engin Altay said that Demirtaş is “being kept in prison as if he’s a political hostage.”
“It’s strange to keep Demirtaş in jail,” Altay told reporters on June 24 as he commented on the top court ruling.
A day earlier CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also called for Demirtaş’s release.
Demirtaş calls on minister to prevent deaths of death fasting lawyers
Separately, Demirtaş on June 24 called on Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül to prevent the deaths of two death fasting lawyers.
“Politics aside, please don’t let humanity die. I’m asking a politician for something for the first time. Please look into their cases personally. Let Ebru Timtik and Aytaç Ünsal live,” Demirtaş said in a tweet.
Timtik and Ünsal have been on a death fast with the demand to be tried fairly.