Sweden summons Turkish ambassador over Gharavi case in Turkey

The Swedish foreign affairs ministry summoned Turkey’s Stockholm ambassador on Monday after being informed that the IT consultant and human-rights activist Ali Gharavi could risk a long prison sentence in Turkey for alleged terror crimes, reported Radio Sweden.

According to the report, Sofia Karlberg, head of press at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, would not go into any details about what was discussed during the meeting on Monday, but she said that the Swedish representatives “expressed concern about the incarceration of Mr. Gharavi”.

“Our view is that Mr. Gharavi was in Turkey to participate in a peaceful seminar on human rights and internet security,” Karlberg told Radio Sweden.

Ali Gharavi, a Swedish citizen, was arrested near İstanbul on July 5th together with ten other human-rights activists, including a German citizen and the director of the Turkish section of Amnesty International. The human-rights activists apparently risk up to 15 years in prison, having been charged with involvement in “terrorist organisations”.

Sweden wants Turkey to clarify the allegations against Gharavi and today was the third time that the Turkish ambassador to Sweden, Kaya Türkmen, was summoned to the foreign ministry to discuss the case.

The summons came a day after Sweden’s foreign affairs minister made a statement on the matter. “Margot Wallström expressed her concern on this case and also concern over the situation in Turkey as regards democracy and human rights,” said Karlberg, who also added that Sweden regards the allegations against Gharavi as very serious and will continue to monitor the case.

“We continue to work intensely on this case and we do it through our consulate general in Istanbul. We work with this case also through our embassy in Ankara and also here at the ministry in Stockholm,” said Karlberg.

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