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Turkey’s Constitutional Court rules that jailing Demirtaş violates his rights

Selahattin Demirtaş has been in jail since November 2016 on terrorism-related charges. He faces a sentence of up to 142 years in jail if found guilty in the main case against him.

The decision published on Friday showed that Turkey’s Constitutional Court (AYM) has ruled that the lengthy jailing of a former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş violated his rights.

Selahattin Demirtaş has been in jail since November 2016 on terrorism-related charges. He faces a sentence of up to 142 years in jail if found guilty in the main case against him.

Demirtaş’s lawyers applied to the Constitutional Court on the grounds that their clients’ person and liberties were violated.

The AYM reviewed the applications made on 24 November 2017, 29 May 2018, 27 November 2018 and 11 December 2018 in bulk.

The court’s decision, published in Turkey’s Official Gazette, said Demirtaş detention had exceeded a reasonable period and his right to freedom had been violated, ordering the payment of compensation.

A copy of the decisions taken will be sent to the Ankara 19th High Criminal Court and the Ministry of Justice.

Demirtaş’s lawyer, Mahsuni Karaman, demanded the end of the detention in a statement he published on social media.

He added that Demirtaş was detained due to the events of 6-8 October 2016 and that the Court ruled that this detention was a violation of his rights. “As the second arrest order is based on the same reason – argued Mahsuni – Demirtaş should be released immediately.”

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