Jailed Turkish businessman Kavala seen with wife in first prison photo in 260 days

Osman Kavala and Ayşe Buğra Kavala

Renowned Turkish businessman and human rights activist Osman Kavala, who has been in pre-trial detention since November 2017, is seen with his wife, Professor Ayşe Buğra Kavala, in a photo taken in prison and posted on the businessman’s website.

The photo was taken during an open visit at Silivri Prison, where Kavala is incarcerated, on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, a Muslim religious holiday observed on June 15, according to Kavala’s website, osmankavala.org.

A note under the photo says Kavala has been jailed since Nov. 1, 2017 without knowing what charges are directed at him and without an indictment.

An İstanbul court ruled to arrest Kavala on Nov. 1, 2017 following 13 days in police custody on charges of attempting to overthrow the constitutional order and attempting to remove the government of the Turkish Republic.

Just before his arrest, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared Kavala a criminal and the “Turkish Soros,” implying that Kavala was plotting to undermine his rule through civil society organizations.

Kavala is known for his contributions to nongovernmental organizations and especially for his support for Kurdish political and human rights activists in Turkey.

In June the businessman filed a petition with the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) complaining of a lengthy pretrial detention without the issuance of an indictment.

“My application to the ECtHR — like many other applications made in similar situations — is not an appeal to an unjustified court decision, but an appeal against a long detention without trial,” Kavala wrote in a letter he sent from prison and published on his website.

“It is about the denial of presumption of innocence and, above all, the value attributed to human freedom,” he added. (turkishminute.com)

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