Inter-Parliamentary Union welcomes protection for Turkish MPs

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Member flags of the Inter-Parliamentary Union

An agreement reached by Turkey's three main political parties on the protection of the country's Members of Parliament has been welcomed by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

The Turkish parties agreed to amend the constitution to more clearly define when an elected official can be prosecuted or imprisoned.

The IPU says the establishment of a multi-party commission in charge of drafting the constitutional changes is an important step forward in allowing MPs to exercise their right to represent those who elected them.

The accord follows a decision of the Turkish Constitutional Court to provisionally release seven MPs, five men and two women, who were elected to parliament in June 2011 while in detention.

The Court ruled that the length of their detentions amounted to a violation of their right to stand for election.

Five of the released MPs were sworn into parliament on 7 January after being granted provisional release last week.

Two other MPs who were given lengthy jail sentences in August 2013 have also taken up their seats in Turkey's Grand National Assembly while awaiting the results of their appeals.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 1’16″

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