Turkey: Outrageous decision to keep Osman Kavala in jail must be overturned

Following a decision by a judge to keep civil society leader Osman Kavala in pre-trial detention on trumped up charges of ‘attempting to overthrow the government’, Amnesty International’s Andrew Gardner said: 

“The decision to keep Osman Kavala in pre-trial detention is outrageous but not surprising. It exposes yet again, how Turkey’s judicial system has been weaponised in order to target legitimate civil society activities and jail people without a shred of evidence.

Osman Kavala has already spent 625 days behind bars. He must be immediately released.

“Osman Kavala has already spent 625 days behind bars. Absurdly he is accused of trying to incite the overthrow of the government during the Gezi Protests six years ago, despite the fact that the indictment against him contains no evidence of involvement in any criminal activity.

This decision exposes yet again, how Turkey’s judicial system has been weaponised in order to target legitimate civil society activities and jail people without a shred of evidence
Amnesty International

“He must be released immediately and the charges against him and the other defendants in the so-called Gezi trial, dropped.”

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’.

The next hearing has been scheduled for 8-9 October 2019.