Ferhat Yaşar / DUVAR
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that Turkey's imprisonment of 13 Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers had violated their rights.
The ECHR said that lawmakers' freedom of expression, and right to vote and be elected were violated during the imprisonment process which started in Nov. 2016.
The ECHR ordered Turkey to pay a total of 184,600 Euros and 1,000 Euros each for court costs in compensation to lawmakers, namely Figen Yüksekdağ, İdris Baluken, Besime Konca, Abdullah Zeydan, Nihat Akdoğan, Selma Irmak, Ferhat Encü, Gülser Yıldırım, Nursel Aydoğan, Çağlar Demirel, Burcu Çelik, Leyla Birlik and Ayhan Bilgen.
Evaluating the decision of the ECHR, the lawyer of the case Ramazan Demir said “the ECHR ruled that the imprisonment of lawmakers were political. All of the lawmakers (who are now in prison) must be acquitted after this rule."
After the decision, HDP Law and Human Rights Commission co-spokespersons Nuray Özdoğan and Serhat Eren demanded the release of HDP politicians in a written statement.
Demirtaş, Yüksekdağ and a number of other HDP deputies were arrested on Nov. 4, 2016 on charges related to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in what the party calls "a political coup."
Since then, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) ramped up its crackdown on the HDP, going as far as to seek the party's closure.
(English version by Alperen Şen)