Turkey: Outlandish charges against Osman Kavala and 15 others must be dropped

Ahead of the second hearing tomorrow in the trial of civil society leader Osman Kavala and 15 others on trumped up charges of ‘attempting to overthrow the government’, Amnesty International’s Andrew Gardner said:

“Osman Kavala has spent 625 days behind bars in pre-trial detention despite the complete absence of any evidence for the outlandish charges against him. With this case it is Turkey’s deeply flawed justice system that is in the dock.

Osman Kavala has spent 625 days behind bars in pre-trial detention despite the complete absence of any evidence for the charges against him
Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International

“The 657-page indictment against Osman Kavala and the others does not contain a single shred of evidence that they were in any way involved in criminal activity, let alone conspiring to overthrow the government. During the first hearing in June, Osman Kavala and the other defendants made statements to the court that exposed in great detail the baseless allegations levelled against them.

Today it is Turkey’s deeply flawed justice system that is in the dock
Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International

“This egregious attempt to silence some of Turkey’s most prominent civil society figures must end, the absurd charges against them must be dropped and those still detained must be immediately released.”

Background

Osman Kavala has been in pre-trial detention in the Silivri High Security Prison near Istanbul since 1 November 2017. Co-defendant Yiğit Aksakoğlu was released from pre-trial detention at the end of the first hearing on 25 June 2019 after spending more than seven months in prison.  Osman Kavala, Yiğit Aksakoğlu and 14 others are facing allegations of ‘attempting to overthrow the government of the Turkish republic or to prevent it from performing its duties’.