COPENHAGEN, 14 January 2019 - The leaders of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s human rights committee, Chair Margareta Kiener Nellen (MP, Switzerland), Vice-Chair Michael Georg Link (MP, Germany), and Rapporteur Kyriakos Hadjiyianni (MP, Cyprus), today called for urgent steps by Turkish authorities to ensure the safety of Member of Parliament Leyla Güven, imprisoned pending trial.

In a letter earlier today to Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Turkey’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, the human rights leaders called for immediate attention to case. The human rights leaders have issued the following appeal:

“With worrying reports of a serious deterioration in Leyla Güven’s health, we urge the authorities to take urgent measures to alleviate the situation. On humanitarian grounds, we call for her immediate transfer to a hospital where she can get the adequate medical attention and treatment and enable contact with her lawyers and family.”

Kiener Nellen, Link and Hadjiyanni were responding to multiple reports that Leyla Güven, elected to parliament in Turkey in June last year, was in critical condition as her hunger strike enters its 65th day. Her deteriorating health has reportedly limited her ability to meet with lawyers and visitors.

The OSCE PA officials also expressed concern at the imposition of pre-trial detention, reiterating OSCE PA calls for such measures only “exceptional cases and when public security is at stake or when a suspect presents a genuine flight risk” (OSCE PA 2015 Helsinki Declaration).