Ahead of the expected verdict in the case of human rights defender Osman Kavala and seven other defenders on April 22, Nils Muižnieks, Europe Director at Amnesty International, said:
“This politically motivated joke has left Osman Kavala arbitrarily imprisoned for more than four and a half years for no reason other than his civil society activism, and dispels any lingering doubts about the vacuum of the Turkish judicial system.”
“Since November 2017, the only concern of the authorities has been to deprive Osman Kavala of his freedom, in disregard of international fair trial standards. The tax authorities continue to fail to produce a single piece of evidence to support the unsubstantiated accusations trying to overthrow the government. The only fair outcome of this case is the release of Osman Kavala and all the accused and their immediate and unconditional release from prison.”
“The decision comes three months after the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe took the unusual decision to initiate a formal violation process against Turkey for failing to release Osman Kavala. The stakes are high for everyone concerned with justice.”
In their final opinion, prosecutors have requested that Osman Kavala and Mücella Yapıcı, one of the defendants, who acted as spokespersons for Solidarity Taksim during the Gezi Park protests, be punished for “attempting to overthrow the government”. . They can be sentenced to life imprisonment which is increased.
Turkey is only the second country to face infringement proceedings for failing to implement a binding decision from the European Court of Human Rights.
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