Dec 21 2017

Turkey’s top court rejects jailed opposition leader’s application

Turkey’s Constitutional Court rejected jailed Kurdish opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş’s appeal application regarding his arrest and remand, state-run news agency Anadolu reported.

Demirtaş was arrested in a dawn raid on his house on Nov. 4, 2016, and ever since has been held at an Edirne F-type high security prison accused of “making propaganda of a terrorist organisation.”

The HDP co-leader’s lawyers have applied to the court, arguing that the arrest and detention of their client was against the law, that they were restricted access to investigation material and evidence, that the charges related to Demirtaş’s prosecution were protected by freedom of speech and political rights, and that the remand period prevented their client from carrying out his duty of attending sessions of the Turkish parliament.

In its ruling, the Constitutional Court said Demirtaş’s application on the legality of his arrest is inadmissible because of a failure to exhaust domestic remedies, and that other application lacked legal grounds.