ECHR calls on Turkey to immediately release Demirtaş

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Turkey should take all necessary measures to ensure the immediate release of the former co-chair of the HDP, Salahuddin Demirtaş.

The Court said that Demirtaş’s detention decisions do not contain evidence linking his actions to crimes related to terrorism.

The court said that the arrest of the former co-chair of the HDP sent a “dangerous message” to the Turkish people, which was “merely a cover for a hidden political purpose.”

The court ruling stated that “the initial and continuing detention not only deprived thousands of voters from representation in Parliament, but also sent a dangerous message to all residents, which significantly reduced the scope for free democratic debate.”

“These factors enable the court to conclude that the purposes presented by the Turkish authorities regarding pretrial detention were merely a cover for an ulterior political purpose, which is indisputable with regard to democracy,” the European Court’s decision also stated.

After the alleged coup attempt, the Turkish authorities arrested many politicians, including Demirtaş, who was arrested on November 4, 2016, under the pretext of his links to the PKK.