NGOs urge EU Committee to pressure Turkey to release Demirtas and Kavala
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Council of Europe Committee of Ministers should pressure Turkey to release Kurdish opposition politician Selahattin Demirtas and jailed human rights defender Osman Kavala, three non-governmental organizations (NGOs) said on Monday.
Human Rights Watch, the International Commission of Jurists, and the Turkey Litigation Support Project in a joint statement said the European Committee should trigger infringement proceedings against Turkey at its September 14-16, 2021 meeting for its failure to follow the European Court ruling to release Kurdish opposition politician Selahattin Demirtas and jailed human rights defender Osman Kavala.
“In the face of Turkey’s persistent and flagrant defiance of its obligation to implement the Kavala judgment, the Committee of Ministers should trigger infringement proceedings against Turkey,” said Aisling Reidy, senior legal adviser at Human Rights Watch, in a press release.
“The committee should also call for the immediate release of Demirtaş with a commitment to escalating measures if it does not happen.”
Both Kavala and Demirtas remain jailed despite European Court of Human Rights rulings calling for their immediate release.
“Both judgments are legally binding, yet the Turkish authorities have snubbed the Strasbourg court and ignored the Committee of Ministers’ decisions calling for the men’s release,” the NGOs said.
Several European institutions have previously called on Turkey to release the two men, statements that Turkey has ignored so far.