Council of Europe demands Demirtaş's release

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has launched infringement proceedings against Turkey for its failure to comply with the ECtHR ruling over Osman Kavala. The committee has also demanded an immediate release of Selahattin Demirtaş.

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe addressed the violations of the Turkish state during its November 29-December 2 meetings. At a session on December 1, the situation in Imrali prison, where Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan has been held since 1999, was also brought to the agenda.

The committee has decided to launch “infringement proceedings” against Turkey, specifically regarding the situation of businessman Osman Kavala.

The committee has given time to the Turkish government until January 19, 2022 to present its views on Kavala.

The committee has also demanded the immediate release of Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtaş, former co-chair of the HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party), who remains in prison.

It has urged Turkey’s Constitutional Court (AYM) to decide on the applications in line with the ECtHR rulings.

Benan Molu, one of Demirtaş's lawyers, interpreted the latest decision in her Twitter account.

“The Committee of Ministers officially has started infringement proceedings against Turkey in accordance with Article 46/4 of the ECtHR, as Osman Kavala has not been released despite the rulings of the Court and the Committee. The Turkish government was given time until January 19 to present its views. The Committee of Ministers took an interim decision concerning Selahattin Demirtaş, evaluated the action plan of the Turkish government, and requested that Demirtaş be released immediately. It has also urged Turkey’s constitutional court to decide on the applications in line with the ECtHR rulings,” she wrote.

“Concerning Demirtaş's case, the Committee also demanded legislative changes to secure the independence of Turkey’s supreme council of judges and prosecutors (HSK) and the judiciary, to bolster pluralism and particularly the freedom of expression of elected opposition politicians, and to take measures against arbitrary arrests under the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) 314,” Molu stated.