HRW: Turkey must immediately release Kurdish politician

Human Rights Watch (HRW) confirmed that Turkey’s continued detention of the co-chair of the HDP and eight other parliamentarians is a reminder of the ability of the executive authority in Turkey to influence the judicial procedures.

On Thursday, the Human Rights Organization demanded, in a statement, Turkey “the immediate release of Kurdish politician Saladin Demirtaş, in compliance with a ruling issued by the European Court of Human Rights in 2018.”

Demirtaş, the former co-chair of the HDP, has been in pretrial detention since November 2016, on charges related to “terrorism” arising from his political speeches that mostly targeted Erdogan’s authoritarian style of government.

Although Turkish courts ordered the release of Demirtaş from the police after the European court ruling, he is still being held in a prison in the northwestern town of Edirne, about 250 kilometers northwest of Istanbul, to serve a separate sentence.

The organization pointed out that the arrest of Demirtaş and eight other Peoples’ Party parliamentarians marked the beginning of a “continuous government attack on the party.”

The organization considered that Turkey’s continued detention of Selahaddin Demirtaş and other parliamentarians is a reminder of the ability of the executive authority in Turkey to influence the judicial procedures.