Local court rejects Demirtaş’s appeal for release despite ECtHR ruling

The Ankara 19th High Criminal Court on Friday rejected a request for release filed by Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtaş which was based on a European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruling that his pre-trial detention had gone on longer than could be justified.

The court decided to ask Turkey’s Justice Ministry whether the ECtHR ruling was final.

Former co-chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Demirtaş has been in pre-trial detention since November 2016 along with the other former co-chair, Figen Yüksekdağ.

“The Court found that the judicial authorities had extended Mr Demirtaş’ detention on grounds that could not be regarded as ‘sufficient’ to justify its duration,” the Strasbourg-based ECtHR said in a statement on Nov. 20.

The ECtHR ruled that Ankara “was to take all necessary measures to put an end to the applicant’s pre-trial detention.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan responded to the ECtHR decision by saying that the European court’s rulings did not bind Turkey.


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