Ten Western Countries Urge Turkey To Release Human Rights Defender Kavala

ANKARA (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 19th October, 2021) The US embassy in Turkey has released a joint statement with nine other Western embassies calling on Ankara to release human rights defender Osman Kavala after four years under arrest.

The appeal was made by the embassies of Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the United States.

"Together, the embassies ... believe a just and speedy resolution to his case must be in line with Turkey's international obligations and domestic laws. Noting the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights on the matter, we call for Turkey to secure his urgent release," the joint statement read.

Kavala's continuous detention and delays in his trial despite a previous acquittal "cast a shadow over respect for democracy, the rule of law and transparency in the Turkish judiciary system," the embassies said.

The ten ambassadors were summoned to the Turkish foreign ministry because of the statement, the Anadolu news agency reported on Tuesday, citing diplomatic sources.

Osman Kavala is a well-known Turkish businessman and human rights activist. He is the founder of the Anadolu Kultur AS cultural foundation, promoting ethnic and religious minority projects, particularly the reconciliation between the Turkish and Armenian populations and the peaceful resolution of the Kurdish issue.

In February 2020, a Turkish court acquitted Kavala on the charge of links to the anti-government Gezi Park protests in 2013. However, on the same day, the Istanbul prosecutor's office issued a new warrant which rearrested Kavala on charges of links to the failed 2016 coup attempt. Kavala has denied all charges leveled against him.