(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
ISTANBUL - The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled on Tuesday that the rights of two prominent journalists had been violated during their pre-trial detention for over a year.
The case of two journalists, Sahin Alpay and Mehmet Altan, was taken to Turkey's Constitutional Court which ruled in January that they both be released, but a lower court threw out the decision.Altan, along with five other journalists, was jailed for life in February, while Alpay was released under house arrest on Saturday after more than a year in detention.
The European court ruled that during their pre-trial detention their rights to liberty, security and freedom of expression had been violated.
It also said that their continued detention after the Constitutional Court ruling "could not be regarded as lawful and in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law as required by the right to liberty and security".
A Turkish penal court last week ordered the release of Alpay, a columnist in the now defunct Zaman daily, following a second ruling by the constitutional court.
In February, Altan and five other journalists including his brother were sentenced to life in jail for links to a failed military coup in July 2016.
The verdict of the internationally monitored case drew fierce criticism from rights groups and Turkey's Western allies, who said Turkey should reverse the decision.