Osman Kavala, the imprisoned human rights activist made a brief statement on Tuesday, following the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Monday that Turkey failed to fulfill its obligations by not complying with the Court’s 2019 ruling which ordered Kavala’s release.
“The European Court of Human Rights had ruled on 10 December 2019 that my arrest was not based on any solid evidence, and that I was arrested for political motives. The court concluded by its decision yesterday that lawless practices and political influences on the judiciary processes still continue. This decision has confirmed clearly that current laws are being used arbitrarily and with political motives. I believe that this decision will be encouraging for members of the judiciary who insist on acting in accordance with the basic principles of law despite all pressures.”
Kavala has been incarcerated in Turkey since 2017, and was tried on and was tried on separate charges of ‘attempting to overthrow the Government through force and violence’ in the context of the 2013 Gezi Park protests, of ‘attempting to overthrow the constitutional order’ in the context of the failed coup attempt of 15 July 2016, and of ‘military or political espionage’.
The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CoE) voted on 2 February to start infringement proceedings against Turkey over its non-compliance with the ECHR’s ruling in the Kavala case, and sent the case back to the ECHR for a legal opinion.
Kavala was sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment on 25 April over the charge of ‘attempting to overthrow the Government through force and violence’.