EU says parliament’s decision to lift MPs’ immunity is ‘a matter of serious concern’

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European Union Commissioner Johannes Hahn and High Representative for EU Federica Mogherini released a joint statement on Turkish parliament’s decision to lift more than 100 deputies on Friday, saying that the decision is “a matter of serious concern.”

The statement read, “In line with relevant international recommendations, immunity must apply to all on a non-discriminatory basis and decisions on lifting immunity must be based on the merits of each specific case, according to transparent criteria and not subject to any political considerations.”

Friday’s decision to lift deputies’ immunity are usually criticized for being politically motivated and for targeting Kurdish lawmakers.

The bill is to affect a total of 138 lawmakers, 50 of them are from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party.

The joint statement also said, “A restrictive interpretation of the legal framework and the Constitution in particular continue to pose a risk to the freedom of expression of Members of Parliament in Turkey.”

Reminding that the right to a fair trial is crucial to the rule of law, the statement read, “Any alleged wrongdoing or crime committed by members of parliament should be subject to due process.”

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