IPU Concern at Sentencing of Turkish MPs
|Publication Date||6 August 2013|
|Cite as||Inter-Parliamentary Union, IPU Concern at Sentencing of Turkish MPs, 6 August 2013, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/525682f84.html [accessed 23 October 2017]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
IPU is gravely concerned at the sentencing of three Turkish MPs on 5th August in a trial allegedly based on unsubstantiated accusations.
Journalist and MP, Mustafa Balbay, physician and MP, Mehmet Haberal, as well as fellow Republican People's Party colleague Sinan Aygün, were handed down sentences ranging from nearly 35 years to more than 12 years in the Ergenekon coup plot trial which involved charges against 275 people. Journalists, academics, army officials, the MPs and others were facing accusations of being part of the Ergenekon network and plotting to overthrow the government.
IPU's Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians has been following Balbay and Haberal's cases since their election to parliament in 2011.
IPU deeply regrets that a mission to Turkey to investigate further into these and other seven cases involving MPs prosecuted either as part of the "Sledgehammer" case or for being members of the Kurdish Communities Union, had been repeatedly delayed by the Turkish authorities.
The Organization has repeatedly raised concerns at the lack of information around the charges against the MPs, alleged fabrication of some of the evidence used against Balbay and Haberal, and the length of the proceedings.
Although IPU takes notes of Mehmet Haberal's release following his sentencing, its Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians will be examining what steps it will take next. Balbay's sentence of 34 years and 8 months is of especial concern.