As a Turkish court once again denied release for jailed human rights defender Osman Kavala, the European Parliament’s Standing Rapporteur on Turkey described the ongoing trial as a ‘mockery’ and called upon the Turkish judiciary to respect the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Nacho Sánchez Amor, a member of the European Parliament (EP) and Standing Rapporteur on Turkey, was in Istanbul to follow the latest court session of the Gezi trial on Monday.
He tweeted after the court’s decision to have seperate trials on cases linked to 2013 Gezi demonstrations and to extend the detention period for Kavala:
“I was today at Çağlayan courthouse for #OsmanKavala’s trial & witnessed the umpteenth legal trick in this mockery of due process: after the irrational merge of #Gezi case now judge ruled to split it again. All tricks won’t hide the truth: @ECHR_CEDH rulings should be respected.”
Osman Kavala was indicted for organising and financially supporting Gezi demonstrations that started in 2013 over an attempt by state authorities to destroy the Gezi Park near Istanbul’s Taksim square, and which turned into huge demonstrations against police violence as hundreds of thousands of people flooded to the area to participate.
The ECHR ruled in December 2019 that the European Convention on Human Rights was violated in the Kavala case and called for Kavala’s immediate release. The ECHR had concluded that Kavala’s arrest was based on political motives, without any reasonable evidence backing the charges.
While Kavala was acquitted in the Gezi case in 2020 in the Supreme Court of Appeals, he was simultaneously indicted, this time, for allegedly having links to the 2016 military coup attempt and for espionage. The Gezi trial eventually re-started after the appeals court’s decision.
The Council of Europe Committee of Ministers (CoM) recently voted on the 2 February to start infringement proceedings against Turkey over its non-compliance with the ECHR decision in the Kavala case.
Kavala has been incarcerated since October 2017.