Hearings of the legal case against HDP’s former co – chair Mr. Selahattin Demirtaş (January 23 – 25, 2019)

HDP’s former co-chair Mr. Selahattin Demirtaş was arrested on 4 November 2016 together with co-chair Ms. Figen Yüksekdağ and seven other MPs. Mr. Demirtaş has been in Edirne F Type Prison since his arrest. The seventh hearing of the main legal case for which Mr.Demirtaş has been under pre-trial detention will be held on January 23-25, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.in Sincan F Type Prison Campus in Ankara.
This case of Mr. Demirtaş consists of the merging of 31 summary proceedings, each having separate criminal charges. All of these files consist of press statements and speeches that Mr.Demirtaş had made as a politician between 2016 and 2017.
The indictment prepared for Mr.Selahattin Demirtaş accuses him with the following charges:
Establishing or administering an armed terrorist organization, making propaganda of a terrorist organization, praising a crime or criminal, inciting people to hatred and enmity, inciting people to commit crime, inciting people to violate the law, organizing and participating in meetings and marches in violation of the law on protest and assembly.
The prosecution has asked for the sentencing of Mr.Demirtaş up to142 years in prison.
During two-day hearings on December 12 and 13, Mr. Demirtaş has mainly criticized the court due to their unlawful decision on the continuation of his detention after the ECHR’s ruling.
Mr. Demirtaş has stated that the court was not independent in its decisions and making political, not legal, judgments. Mr. Demirtaş and the lawyers asked recusation of the Ankara 19th Heavy Penal Court’s panel of judge, who decides unlawfully the continuation of detention despite the ECHR ruling.
This demand was rejected by the Court on the ground that there was no concrete evidence of the recusation of the panel of judges. The lawyers appealed this rejection to a higher court, the 20th High Criminal Court.
Although Mr. Demirtaş and his lawyers did not demand his release during the hearings, the court decided on the continuation of pre-trial detention pursuant to Article 100 of the Criminal Procedure Law.
This case of HDP’s former co-chair is surely of utmost importance for the political future of Turkey.
We would like to invite you to observe the case to make it clear that the international community is keenly following and deeply concerned with the destruction of democratic politics in the country.
Observing the hearing will provide you with the opportunity to bear witness to the political and arbitrary use of the law to silence democratic opposition, suspension of the rule of law, and destruction of separation of powers.
In order to your access to the courtroom, please apply to the Adalet Bakanlığı Dış İlişkiler ve Avrupa Birliği Genel Müdürlüğü (Directorate General for International Law and Foreign Relations department at the Ministry of Justice).
You or your Embassy in Ankara can send an mail to
uhdigm@adalet.gov.tr address to receive accreditation.

Fax and phone numbers of the Directorate General are as follows:

Fax: 0090 312 219 45 23
Phone: 0090 312 414 80 51
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or need assistance for the necessary arrangements to observe the hearings.
Hisyar Ozsoy
Deputy Chair of HDP Responsible for Foreign Affairs
Member of Parliament