Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s (PACE) rapporteurs have called for the immediate release of Osman Kavala following a judgment by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on Tuesday (May 12).
Kavala, a businessperson and a rights defender, has been behind bars since October 18, 2017.
Releasing a written statement, PACE rapporteurs for Turkey, Thomas Hammarberg and John Howell, and the general rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders in Council of Europe member States, Alexandra Louis, noted that the ECtHR ruling has become final and urged the authorities in Turkey to abide by their legal and humanitarian obligations.
Here is the full text of the statement:
“The ruling of the Strasbourg Court is now final. We urge the Turkish authorities to implement it and to immediately release Osman Kavala who has been detained since 18 October 2017.
“We also recall that the ruling of the Court not only referred to the Gezi trial, but also to the investigation of Mr Kavala’s alleged involvement in the failed coup of 15 July 2016, which was used to justify his groundless re-arrest on 19 February 2020.
“His immediate release is all the more important because Mr Kavala, like other politicians, civil society activists or journalists detained for their opinions, remains exposed to the Covid-19 virus in prison as a result of being excluded from the recent law allowing early and conditional releases in the context of the pandemic. This remains a matter of deep concern to us.
“By releasing Mr Kavala, the Turkish authorities would abide by their legal and humanitarian obligations. Moreover, they would send the right signal to Turkish civil society, a signal that has been expected for a long time.