Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (26 July) on Turkish businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala’s 1000th day in pre‑trial detention:
I simply cannot comprehend why Osman Kavala has still not been released from prison. The fact that he remains in custody, though cleared in the Gezi Park trial and despite the decision by the European Court of Human Rights, raises serious doubts about the validity of rule‑of‑law principles in Turkey. In its judgment, the Court in Strasbourg stated that the detention was designed to keep Osman Kavala quiet.
I look with increasing concern at the status of the rule of law and fundamental freedoms in Turkey. Osman Kavala and Turkey’s civil society can count on my continued solidarity.
Osman Kavala, director of the Turkish cultural foundation Anadolu Kültür, has been in prison since 18 October 2017, making 27 July 2020 his 1000th day in detention. On 10 December 2019, the European Court of Human Rights determined that Osman Kavala’s prolonged pre‑trial detention was in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights and called for his immediate release. This decision came into force on 11 May 2020. Osman Kavala was acquitted by an Istanbul court on 18 February 2020, but was immediately re‑arrested on other charges.