Germany and France have released a joint statement calling on Turkey for the immediate release of renowned activist Osman Kavala, ahead of the first hearing of the Gezi retrial.
"Osman Kavala has been behind bars for almost 1300 days, even though the European Court of Human Rights demanded his release a year and a half ago. Turkey’s treatment of Osman Kavala and the non-implementation of the ECtHR judgment is not worthy of a state governed by the rule of law or with longstanding membership of the Council of Europe," said Germany’s Human Rights Commissioner Barbel Kofler and France's Human Rights Ambassador Delphine Borione in a statement on May 19.
"We call on Turkey to urgently respect its international obligations and to release Osman Kavala without further delay,” they further noted.
Kavala has been in prison in Turkey for more than three years without a conviction. His case has drawn condemnation from around the world, with several rights groups calling for his immediate release.
Immediately after he was acquitted in February 2020 of charges related to nationwide Gezi protests in 2013, Kavala was arrested again on charges related to a failed coup in 2016.
Kavala applied to the Turkish Constitutional Court last year saying his detention was unlawful and therefore violated his right to liberty and security.
But the General Assembly of the Constitutional Court on Dec. 29, 2020 ruled by an 8-7 margin that Kavala's continued detention did not amount to a violation.
In January, a Turkish appeals court ruled to overturn the Gezi-related verdicts saying that some evidence was excluded and that the case should be joined with the other case against Kavala.
The first hearing in the retrial of the Gezi case will take place on May 21.