European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), Former HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş‘on the grounds that his request to engage in social activities with 9 prisoners in prison was rejected without any justification, inadmissible.
According to the information obtained, Demirtaş was taken to the same ward with HDP’s Abdullah Zeydan shortly after he was arrested on November 4, 2016.
After a while, Demirtaş applied to the prison administration and requested social activities with his ward friend and 8 other detainees whose names were given.
The request was rejected by the prison administration on the grounds of “security reasons, the safety of the people and the status of these detainees who are not allowed to meet with other prisoners”.
Referring to section 3 of the Circular No. 45/1 of the Ministry of Justice, the prison administration’s refusal stated that Demirtaş could continue to socialize with his ward friend.
Selahattin Demirtaş objected to the prison administration’s decision to refuse. Demirtaş, whose appeal was rejected by the enforcement judge and the high criminal court, made an individual application to the Constitutional Court.
Demirtaş applied to the ECtHR this time after the Constitutional Court ruled on 18 December 2019 that the complaint regarding the violation of the right to respect for private life was clearly unfounded. In the application, it was alleged that “within the scope of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which regulates the right to respect for private and family life, he was prevented from meeting with other detainees on the basis of a Ministry circular without a legal basis, and his objections against this decision were rejected on arbitrary and groundless grounds”.
Claiming that the only person he saw was his ward mate, apart from his family, lawyers and other MPs allowed to visit him, Demirtaş also claimed that “the practices of the prison regime violate the presumption of innocence” in his application.
“NOT RELATED, SENSORY OR ABSOLUTELY EXPERIENCED”
The ECtHR, evaluating the application, unanimously found Demirtaş’s application inadmissible on the grounds that it was clearly baseless.
In the court’s reasoning, it was pointed out that for reasons of security, discipline and protection, the ban on meeting with other detainees alone did not constitute an inhumane punishment or treatment.
In the decision, where the statements were used, “The relevant, sensory or absolute isolation” was used, it was stated that Demirtaş shared the same ward with another prisoner during the said period and it was possible to have a joint activity with this friend of the ward.
In the decision, which was stated in the application form submitted to the court that it was understood that Demirtaş’s communication with the outside world was continuing, it was stated that “Even if the applicant alleges that he was restricted in relation to the aforementioned circumstances, there is no isolation in this context.
In the decision referring to the ministry’s circular, it was emphasized that the intervention within the scope of prison security and the security of individuals had a legal basis and pursued a legitimate aim, and therefore it could not be concluded that the rejection decisions given to the objections were disproportionate.
In the ECtHR decision, the following were recorded:
“The Court reiterates that the national authorities are in a better position than the international judge to decide on domestic needs and context in principle. The national courts, on the other hand, subjected the methods and principles of the assessment of the competent prison administration to a scrutiny and rejected the applicant’s request, with decisions that appeared not arbitrary or manifestly ill-founded in the present case. “
In the ECtHR decision, it was stated that “if it is related to the alleged violation of the presumption of innocence, the conditions related to the events alleged about the prison regime cannot be considered as constituting a violation of the presumption of innocence”.