Turkey’s top court rules violation of rights in jailed Kurdish politician’s case

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In this handout photo provided by the pro-Kurdish Peoples's Democratic Party (HDP), former party leader Selahattin Demirtas sits in prison in Edirne on May 4, 2018. Demirtaş has been behind bars since November 2016, is in prison accused of links to outlawed Kurdish rebels and is facing a 142-year sentence. / AFP PHOTO / Kurdish Peoples's Democratic Party (HDP) / HANDOUT

Turkey’s Constitutional Court said on late Thursday the rights to security and freedom of jailed Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtaş were violated during his prosecution on terrorism charges, according to the Turkish media.

The Constitutional Court said the length of Demirtaş’s pretrial detention exceeded the maximum period stipulated by Turkish law.

The court also ordered that the Turkish government pay him TL 50,000 ($7,300) in compensation.

Demirtaş, former co-chair of the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) who has been incarcerated since November 2016, is accused of being a high-ranking member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

In September, an Ankara court ordered his release pending trial following a European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) verdict calling for freeing Demirtaş.

However, he was kept in jail since he received a nearly five-year sentence for disseminating terrorist propaganda.

Experts said the Constitutional Court’s latest verdict would not lead to a release because it was related to the previous case.

The PKK, designated a terrorist organization by Ankara, European Union and the United States, has been waging a decades-long insurgency in Turkey’s Southeast.

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