European rights court fines Turkey over violations in trial of Kurdish politicians

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This photo shows an interior view of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg on January 24, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / FREDERICK FLORIN

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has fined Turkey for lengthy detentions and obstruction of the right to defense in the trials of Kurdish politicians from the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), the Artı Gerçek news website reported on Thursday.

The court ruled that Turkey violated Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECtHR) titled “Right to liberty and security.”

It decided that Turkey should pay €250 to each of the 83 applicants who stood trial in the case, ruling for a total of €20,750 in fines.

The politicians were held behind bars for 18 months without appearing before a judge, and the case was kept confidential for 15 months. The court cited paragraph 4 of Article 5 of the ECtHR, which stipulates that

“Everyone arrested or detained … shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release pending trial.”

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