Turkey: Release Osman Kavala and 15 others from prison and drop spurious charges


Ahead of tomorrow’s third hearing in the trial of civil society leader Osman Kavala and 15 others on trumped up charges of ‘attempting to overthrow the government’, Amnesty International’s Turkey Campaigner, Milena Buyum said:

"This prosecution is a shameful attempt to silence independent civil society and part of a wider ongoing crackdown on rights defenders. Osman Kavala should not have spent a single minute behind bars let alone more than two years in pre-trial detention.

“He, and 15 others, are facing spurious accusations devoid of any evidence that they were involved in any criminal activity, let alone conspiring to overthrow the government. “He must be immediately and unconditionally released from jail and the charges against him and the 15 other civil society figures dropped.

“A month after the European Court of Human Rights called on Turkey to release Osman Kavala immediately, every passing day he spends behind bars further compounds the violation of his rights.

“His release must herald the beginning of the end of the crackdown on civil society over the last several years and a restoration for respect for human rights in Turkey.”


The European Court of Human Rights ruled on December 10, 2019 that Osman Kavala, a civil society leader, has been arbitrarily detained in Turkey since November 2017. The court said that his detention has been carried out and prolonged for unlawful purposes, in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights, and that he should be immediately released.

Osman Kavala has been in pre-trial detention in the Silivri High Security Prison near Istanbul since 1 November 2017. He, Yiğit Aksakoğlu and 14 others are facing allegations of ‘attempting to overthrow the government of the Turkish republic or to prevent it from performing its duties’.