PACE calls on Turkey to release Leyla Güven

PACE calls on Turkey to release Leyla Güven

At the end of an emergency session on Turkey, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) released a resolution called “The worsening situation of opposition politicians in Turkey: what can be done to protect their fundamental rights in a Council of Europe member State?”

In the resolution the Assembly explicitly called “to release Leyla Güven due to her parliamentary immunity until the end of her mandate, in the light of the recent decision rendered by the Supreme Court of Cassation with respect to the detention of deputy Enis Berberoǧlu”


In the resolution the Assembly also “expresses its concern about the detention and imprisonment of opposition parliamentarians and former parliamentarians in Turkey, including former deputy and former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, deputy Leyla Güven, who is also a former member of the Council of Europe Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, and former deputy and Assembly member Ertuğrul Kürkçü. In particular, the Assembly is very concerned that detained MP Leyla Güven has been on indefinite hunger strike since 8 November 2018 and deeply regrets that politicians are forced to resort to such ultimate means to draw attention to their plight in the absence of genuine political debate and dialogue.”


  • The Assembly also “notably expressed its concern over 154 parliamentarians being stripped of their immunity in May 2016 which has affected disproportionately the
  • Peoples’Democratic Party (HDP); the impact on freedoms of expression, assembly and association, the media and local democracy of decree-laws passed under the state
  • of emergency between July 2016 to July 2018; the constitutional reforms of 2017; the hasty organisation of early presidential and parliamentary elections in June 2018 and
  • the reform of the electoral law that immediately preceded them, as well as perennial challenges to freedom of expression including the anti-terror law and its broad
  • interpretation and Articles 299 and 301 of the Penal Code.”

The Assembly also called on the Turkish authorities “to respect fully the rights of opposition politicians in a democracy, including the freedoms of expression, association and assembly, and in particular to protect and respect parliamentary immunity, in accordance with Assembly Resolution 1601 (2008) on procedural guidelines on the rights and responsibilities of the opposition in a democratic parliament as well as with the standards of the Venice Commission; release MPs and former MPs whose immunity was stripped in 2016 in violation of the Council of Europe standards until the completion of the review of their legal case.”

The resolution will be presented at the Council later today.

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