May 15 2018

Pro-Kurdish HDP presidential candidate’s lawyers apply for his release from jail

The lawyers of jailed pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtaş, who has been in pre-trial detention since Nov. 4, 2016, have applied for his release ahead of the June 24 elections, Sputnik news reported.

Demirtaş, who is on trial for a string of terror-related charges, announced his candidacy earlier this month. There are no legal restrictions preventing the 44-year-old from standing in the election as Demirtaş’s cases are ongoing and he has not been sentenced.

Demirtaş’s lawyers, in their petition application to an Ankara court, stressed that his release was necessary so that he may conduct an election campaign on an equal footing as his opponents.

The application cited Demirtaş’s opponents Republican People’s Party (CHP) presidential candidate Muharrem İnce and Felicity (Saadet) Party presidential candidate Temel Karamollaoğlu’s calls for fair elections made earlier this month.