Turkey’s jailed human rights activist and businessman Kavala applies to ECtHR

Osman Kavala

Prominent human rights activist, Anadolu Kültür executive board chairman and businessman Osman Kavala, who has spent seven months in jail, announced on Monday that he has 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.

An İstanbul court ruled to arrest Kavala on Nov. 1, 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 of Kurdish political and human rights activists in Turkey.

“Given that nothing demonstrated during my interrogation constitutes solid evidence, I requested to see the evidence in my file, if there is any, in order to be able to provide an explanation. We could not get any response to this request,” Kavala said. (turkishminute.com)

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