Top Turkish court finds violation of rights in former HDP MP's imprisonment

Turkey’s Constitutional Court ruled that officials' refusal to release former HDP MP Leyla Güven in 2018 despite her re-election as a member of parliament had violated her rights.

Duvar English

Turkey’s Constitutional Court (AYM) has ruled that the state had violated the rights of former Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) MP Leyla Güven by refusing to release her after she was re-elected as a deputy in the 2018 elections. 

On June 24, 2018, shortly after Güven was re-elected as a deputy, the Diyarbakır Prosecutor's Office issued a new arrest order for her. 

Leyla Güven’s daughter Sabiha Temizkan announced the AYM's decision on Twitter. She said that Güven continued to be imprisoned during her deputyship in the new parliamentary term for a period of seven months, and this was ruled as a violation of her rights by the top court. 

Güven was detained in 2018 following critical remarks about Turkey's military operation in the predominantly Kurdish town of Afrin in northern Syria. She had labeled the military operation against a Syrian Kurdish armed group as "an invasion".

While in detention she went on hunger strike over the prison conditions of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan. 

After nearly 80 days on hunger strike, a court ordered her release in January 2019 "under judicial control."

It was only on July 10, 2019 that Güven was able to take an oath in parliament.

When her sentence was upheld on terrorism charges, her parliamentary immunity was lifted.

In 2020, she was handed 22 years and three months in prison on three separate terrorism charges.