European Court of Human Rights orders Turkey to release and pay damages to opposition leader


The Grand Chambers of the European Court of Human Rights has developed the caselaw on the protection to be provided to opposition members of parliament from the government in a democracy. This case the concerned the arrest and pre-trial detention of Mr Selahattin Demirtaş, who at the time of the events was one of the co-chairs of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), a left-wing pro-Kurdish political party, and member of the Turkish National Assembly.

The Court held that the respondent State was to take all necessary measures to secure the applicant’s immediate release and Mr Demirtaş was to be paid €28,500 in damages.

Paul Skinner represented Article 19 and Human Rights Watch in this case.