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EU court rules Kurdish leader’s detention illegal, Erdogan scoffs

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Report. It was crucial for the AKP, which rules in Ankara, to keep him behind bars while the country was called to vote in the constitutional referendum that gave Erdogan semi-absolute powers.

written by Chiara Cruciati

Topic European Union

November 22, 2018

Two years and 10 days after the arrest of Selahattin Demirtas, the European Court of Human Rights has given its verdict: Turkey must release the leader of the HDP, the left-wing, pro-Kurdish opposition party, who has been held at the Edirne maximum security prison since Nov. 4, 2016.

Demirtas ran a presidential campaign from his jail cell via Twitter, mostly snubbed by the main Turkish media. Despite it, he placed third in the presidential elections on June 24 with 8.4 percent of the votes, while the HDP won seats in parliament with 11.7 percent, almost two percentage points above the electoral threshold.

The European judges ruled Tuesday that his detention while awaiting trial (or rather “trials,” as there........

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