Turkey: Outlandish charges against Osman Kavala and 15 others must be dropped
In response to news that an indictment has been sent to the court setting out the case against Osman Kavala and 15 civil society figures for “attempting to overthrow the government”, Amnesty International’s Andrew Gardner said:
“These outlandish allegations are an attempt to rewrite history and to silence some of Turkey’s most prominent civil society figures who now face the prospect of being tried by Turkey’s deeply flawed justice system.”
“Almost six years after the Gezi Park protests saw tens of thousands of people peacefully protesting against state repression, this indictment - if accepted by the court - could see the accused facing a lifetime behind bars without the possibility of parole.”
“The Gezi protests were overwhelmingly peaceful with people simply exercising their rights. They were met by arbitrary and abusive force by police. It should be the authorities’ denial of these rights and the police violence against peaceful protestors that should be examined by the courts, not these 16 civil society figures who have not committed any crime.
“These charges must be dropped and Osman Kavala, who has been in jail on pretrial detention for almost 16 months, and Yiğit Aksakoğlu, who has been in prison for four months, must be immediately released.”
For more information or to arrange an interview contact Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Relations 416-363-9933 ext 332