A European body condemns Turkey’s sentencing of an activist for links to 2013 protests

ISTANBUL (AP) — A European governmental physique that focuses on human rights, democracy and the rule of legislation on Saturday condemned the choice by Turkey’s Supreme Courtroom to verify the aggravated life sentence for activist and philanthropist Osman Kavala.

Kavala is the founding father of a nonprofit group, Anadolu Kultur, which focuses on cultural and creative initiatives selling peace and dialogue.

He was sentenced to life in jail with out parole final yr after a court docket discovered him responsible of trying to overthrow the federal government by financing mass protests in 2013, generally known as the Gezi Park protests.

Kavala, 65, has been jailed in Silivri jail, on the outskirts of Istanbul, since he was detained in 2017.

“We want to categorical our deep consternation on the determination of the Turkish Courtroom of Cassation which confirmed the aggravated life sentence for philanthropist Osman Kavala,” stated John Howell and Stefan Schennach, co-researchers for the Parliamentary Meeting of the Council of Europe, or PACE, on Saturday.

They famous that the affirmation disregarded two choices by the European Courtroom of Human Rights, in 2019 and 2022, ordering his launch.

Western governments and rights teams rapidly condemned the court docket ruling on the time. Human rights teams stated that Kavala was prosecuted with flimsy proof and that the case was politically motivated.

Along with Kavala, seven different defendants had been sentenced to 18 years over their involvement within the Gezi Park protests. Friday’s ruling upheld that sentence for 4 of the defendants, together with lawyer and activist Can Atalay, 47, regardless of his being elected to parliament in Could and incomes authorized immunity. The opposite sentenced defendants are Cigdem Mater, Mine Ozerden and Tayfun Kahraman.

Three activists out of the seven sentenced final yr have been launched by the court docket.

The PACE co-researchers concluded that they’ll “proceed to exert strain on the Turkish authorities to adjust to the judgments of the European Courtroom of Human Rights and launch all defendants.”

Amnesty Worldwide additionally condemned Friday’s ruling, calling it “a politically-motivated blow for human rights.”

“The enchantment court docket’s determination defies all logic provided that the prosecuting authorities have repeatedly failed to offer any proof to substantiate the baseless costs laid towards them,” it added.

Kavala is likely one of the three candidates shortlisted for the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize, which will probably be awarded on Oct. 9 in Strasbourg, France, throughout a PACE plenary session.

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