Our delegation consisting of our vice co-Chair Mr. Saruhan Oluç, Parliamentary Group Deputy Ms. Filiz Kerestecioğlu, Mardin Deputy Mr. Mithat Sincar, İzmir Deputy Mr. Ertuğrul Kürkçü and Urfa Deputy Mr. Osman Baydemir and attorney Ms. Reyhan Yalçındağ accompanied by HDP Strassbourg representative Mr. Faik Yağızay appealed to The European Court of Human Rights for our Co-Chairs Mr. Selahattin Demirtaş and Ms. Figen Yüksekdağ’s detention. The delegation also had meetings with the officials during their visit. The delegation met with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, The Secretary General of the Council of Europe Mr.Thorbjorn Jagland, and with the officials from Committee on Prevention of Torture, CPT.
Here is the joint statement of our Strasbourg Delegation on continuing contacts:
In our application and at discussions we underlined one fundamental issue; and that was that the imprisonment pending trial of our Co-Chairs and Members of Parliament is unacceptable in terms of the verdicts and jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court [of Turkey] (AYM) and European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
The situation is in violation of law and international conventions and observances [procedures]. We stated that, in view of the failure of the Constitutional Court of Turkey to assess the issue for 95 days, that we expected and demanded [requested] the ECHR to urgently include the issue on its agenda. We explained that in this specific case, the claim that the principle on the exhaustion of internal remedies did not apply, since there already exists the AYM's precedent in the Balbay-Haberal case. It is necessary and sufficient to follow and refer to this verdict. Therefore we remain persistent in our demand for an urgent verdict for the release of our Members of Parliament and Co-Chairs.
Secondly, our Parliamentary Group Co-Deputy Chair İdris Baluken, was released on 30 January after a correct verdict referring to AYM jurisprudence was given; however, later another arrest warrant was issued for him. Baluken has undergone a medical operation and re-imprisonment will put his health at risk. We also filed an application for urgent measures to be taken to halt the decision to arrest [imprison] him in view of the condition of his health.
As a further important issue, we underlined the unacceptable nature of the government's attitude that criminalizes citizens' preference for 'no' in the process leading to the upcoming referendum and that our campaign is taking place under incredible pressure; and issued a call for utmost attention to this issue.
Finally, we drew attention to the atrocity taking place at Kuruköy, Nusaybin. We stated that the prevention of our Members of Parliament and [members of] human rights institutions entrance to the village was a continuation of the human rights violation taking place. This no doubt has a political meaning and consequences, however, here, the priority has been the violation of fundamental human rights.
The outcome is no doubt dependent not only on these applications and discussions, but also on the success of the democratic opposition in Turkey and the struggle for human rights.
21 February 2017