In June 2019, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) requested the Turkish government’s defense in the case of journalist Sayılğan, following an application by lawyers from the Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) and the Media Legal Defense Initiative (MLDI).
In its communique, the ECtHR asked about Sayılğan’s application to the Constitutional Court, specifically inquiring if the duration of this procedure has been compatible with the “short period” condition provided for in Article 5(4) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which secures the right to liberty and security.
The court also asked if Sayılğan’s remand in custody pending trial constitutes a violation of Article 5(1) of the Convention, further inquiring whether the pieces of evidence included in the file at the moment of detaining the interested party enough to convince an impartial observer that he might have committed the offense that he was accused of.
Question on political imprisonment
In another question addressed to the Turkish government, the ECtHR asked if Sayılğan’s freedom of speech was infringed, and if it was, whether this violation was provided for by law and justified within the meaning of Article 10(2) ECHR, which protects the right to freedom of expression.The court also asked whether the privation of freedom imposed on the petitioner in this case, allegedly in accordance with Article 5 of the ECHR, enforced regardless of Article 18 of the Convention, for a purpose other than the one contemplated by said article, which regulates the limitation on use of restriction on rights. This means that the Court is inquiring whether Sayılğan’s detainment is caused by any political motives.
In October this year, a coalition of 10 international press freedom and journalism organizations intervened at the ECtHR in the case of Sayılğan.