Turkey: investigate arrests of opposition leaders

The People's Democratic Party (HDP) of Turkey filed an application Feb. 20 asking the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to address what it called the unlawful imprisonment of the party's co-chairs. Thirteen HDP politicians have been detained since November, and 10 still await trial. The HDP declared that these arrests "constitute a violation of the right to freedom and security, freedom of speech and the right to free elections as protected by both the [Turkish] Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights." Moreover, the HDP insisted that the arrests have strategically prevented HDP politicians from voting in an upcoming referendum that would expand President Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan's powers. While the HDP already stated these concerns in an application filed in the Turkish Constitutional Court, the party has yet to receive a response.

From Jurist, Feb. 21. Used with permission.

Note: The arrest of the HDP leaders comes amid a generalized draconian crackdown on opposition in Turkey.