A delegation from the European Parliament is set to visit Turkey on Dec. 24 to monitor the case into renowned philanthropist, businessman and human rights activist Osman Kavala.
Sergey Lagodinsky, Chair of the European Parliament’s EU-Turkey Delegation and spokesperson for foreign policy of the Greens/EFA group, will visit Istanbul in order to monitor the trial of Kavala, who has been in jail for over two years, closely.
Lagodinsky’s visit aims to show solidarity with Kavala, his family, civil society in Turkey and many other unlawfully detained, according to a statement released by the Parliament’s EU-Turkey Delegation Spokesperson.
Kavala is accused of being one of the “managers and organizers” of 2013 Gezi Park protests, which took place in Istanbul’s Taksim following harsh government response to a group of protesters trying to prevent the cutting down of trees for a large development project planned by the government.
He was arrested in 2017 on suspicion of attempting to overthrow the government and the constitutional order through force and violence. In addition to the charges related to the Gezi Park protests, Kavala also faces those related to the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has recently ruled that Turkey violated Kavala’s rights, while also calling for his immediate release.
Commenting on the case, Lagodinsky criticized the date of the trial due to it being on Christmas Eve.
“The choice of the trial date is very odd. That is why it is even more important to be present!” he said.
“The recent ruling of the European Court of Human Rights was clear: Osman Kavala should have been released from prison long ago. I expect and hope that the Turkish decision-makers will finally implement this ruling on Christmas Eve and that Osman Kavala will finally be allowed to reunite with his family after more than two years in prison,” he added.