Photo: “Freedom for Osman Kavala” poster, AFP
Strasbourg 25 Feb 2020: Osman Kavala, a leading Turkish philanthropist and human rights defender, who was released and then immediately re-arrested on trumped up charges, should be freed immediately, Nils Muiznieks, President of the Association of Schools of Political Studies of the Council of Europe (ASPS), said today.
After 2 years in jail, accused of masterminding the 2013 Gezi Park demonstrations Kavala, the founder of the Istanbul-based European School of Politics, was freed by a Turkish Court only to be re-arrested shortly afterwards charged with supporting the 2016 attempted coup.
This travesty of justice brings to mind Lavrentiy Beria, Stalin’s Secret Police chief, who famously said “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime”, Nils Muiznieks commented.
Last December, the European Court of Human Rights ruled Kavala’s detention arbitrary and unlawful and ordered his release but Turkey’s increasingly authoritarian President, Tayyip Erdogan, just couldn’t care less.
Osman Kavala is innocent and must be released and compensated, said the President of the ASPS. Turkey clearly no longer respects the rule of law, he added, wondering whether the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers and its Parliamentary Assembly will ever find the courage to say so?
Clara Garcin +33652856693 [email protected]
Jack Hanning +33675797327 [email protected]