Sweden must do more for jailed Kurdish leader Demirtaş: Swedish lawmaker

Lawen Redar

A Swedish lawmaker has asked the government to exert more pressure on Turkey in order to secure the release of jailed Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtaş, who has been in prison since November 5, 2016.

In a written motion submitted to the Swedish parliament (Riksdag), Lawen Redar, a lawmaker from the Swedish Social Democratic Party (Socialdemokraterna), asked the government to announce publicly that it would do more to help in securing the release of Demirtaş, former chairman of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

Radar recalled that on November 20, 2018 the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) found the Turkish court had extended the pre-trial detention of Demirtaş without sufficiently strong evidence and ordered Turkey to take all necessary measures to put an end to his pre-trial detention.

Noting that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had challenged the ECtHR decision and claimed Turkey was not bound by the European court, Redar said “… Sweden must take vigorous action against this.”

“I hope the parliament will approve the motion as soon as a new government is formed and deal with the case,” Redar said in remarks quoted by a Turkish newspaper.

On November 30, 2018, the Ankara 19th High Criminal Court rejected a request for release filed by Demirtaş that was based on the ECtHR ruling.

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