16 September 2021

1411th meeting, 14-16 September 2021 (DH)


H46-39 Selahattín Demírtaş v. Turkey (Application No. 14305/17)

Supervision of the execution of the European Court’s judgments


Reference document




The Deputies

1.         recalled that in the present case the European Court found that the applicant was detained in the absence of evidence to support a reasonable suspicion he had committed an offence (violation of Article 5 §§ 1 and 3) and that his arrest and pre-trial detention pursued an ulterior purpose, namely to stifle pluralism and limit freedom of political debate (violation of Article 18 taken in conjunction with Article 5); that the lifting of the applicant’s parliamentary immunity and the way the criminal law was applied to penalise him for political speeches were not foreseeable and prescribed by law (Article 10) and that his consequent detention made it effectively impossible for him to take part in the activities of the National Assembly (Article 3 of Protocol No. 1);

As regards individual measures

2.         noted that on 26 April 2021 the Court of Cassation upheld the Istanbul Assize Court’s judgment convicting the applicant of an offence of disseminating terrorist propaganda in respect of a speech made while he was a member of Parliament and that on 3 May 2021 the applicant resumed serving his sentence of imprisonment in respect of this offence, and that the authorities contend that this conviction and sentence do not fall within the scope of the European Court’s judgment;

3.         underlined, however, that the heart of the violation of Article 10 found by the Court was that the unprecedented, ad homines amendment of Article 83 § 2 of the Turkish Constitution on 20 May 2016 unforeseeably deprived the applicant of parliamentary inviolability in respect of statements he made as a member of Parliament; concluded therefore that the obligation to provide him with restitutio in integrum in respect of this violation requires the removal of all the negative consequences for the applicant’s freedom of expression which resulted from the constitutional amendment, in particular the consequences of criminal prosecutions in respect of statements made by him which would otherwise have been protected under Article 83 § 2 of the Constitution;

4.         called, therefore, for the applicant’s immediate release, the quashing of his conviction by the Istanbul Assize Court, and termination of the criminal proceedings pending before the 22nd Ankara Assize Court, together with the removal of all other negative consequences of the constitutional amendment;

As regards general measures

5.         noting that the deadline to submit an action plan expired on 22 June 2021, called upon the authorities to provide information on general measures before 30 September for their next examination of the case;

6.         decided to resume the examination of the case at their 1419th meeting (30 November- 2 December 2021) (DH) and instructed the Secretariat to prepare a draft interim resolution for consideration by the Committee at that meeting in the event that the applicant has still not been released by then.