Başak Çalı delivers oral pleadings before Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights

Court considers case on arrest and pre-trial detention of Turkish politician Selahattin Demirtaş.

At a hearing of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights on 18 September Başak Çalı, Director of the Centre for Fundamental Rights and Professor of International Law at the Hertie School, represented and delivered oral pleadings on behalf of the former co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and Turkish parliamentarian Selahattin Demirtaş.  The case concerns the arrest and pre-trial detention of Demirtaş in 2016.

Demirtaş has been held in pre-trial detention since November 2016 on terrorism-related charges. In September 2019, a Turkish court ordered his release from pre-trial detention. A year ago, the ECHR already urged Turkey to move the judicial process along quickly, ruling that his long pre-trial detention could not be justified.

But even after the Turkish court ruling, he remains in jail due to a previous sentencing of four years and eight months over comments he made in a 2013 speech.

The decision on the September Grand Chamber hearing is expected in the coming months.

Watch the Grand Chamber hearing at the ECHR in Strasbourg, which took place on 18 September 2019.

More about Başak Çalı

  • Başak Çalı , Professor of International Law | Co-Director, Centre for Fundamental Rights