EU court fines Turkey €13,000 to former Kurdish mayor
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on Thursday ordered Turkey to pay €13,000 (approximately $15,000) for former Siirt Provincial Mayor Tuncer Bakırhan.
Bakırhan was elected mayor of Siirt in local elections on March 30, 2014, as a candidate for the pro-Kurdish BDP party (Peace and Democracy Party).
Following his placement in pre-trial detention, he was removed from his post. He was released on October 11, 2019.
The authorities accused Bakırhan of being a member of a “terrorist organization” and spreading propaganda on its behalf.
He was sentenced to 10 years and 18 days’ imprisonment by the Siirt Assize Court in October 2019. The criminal proceedings against him are still pending.
The ECtHR concluded that Tuncer Bakırhan “had been imprisoned for about two years and 11 months, of which more than two years and eight months were spent in pre-trial detention. It held that there had not been sufficient reasons to order the applicant’s detention pending trial.”
The court also said “breaches of the freedom of expression of an elected representative, such as the applicant, called for the closest scrutiny on the part of the Court.”
The international court ruled that Turkey was to pay the applicant €10,000 in respect of non-pecuniary damage and €3,000 for costs and expenses.