Three top human rights group have called on the Council of Europe Committee to issue a statement urging Turkey to release influential businessman, philanthropist and civil society activist Osman Kavala and drop all charges against him.ECHR rejects Turkey’s appeal over ruling on Osman Kavala
Human Rights Watch, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and the Turkey Human Rights Litigation Support Project said in a statement that the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers should issue a decision at its June 4-dated meeting directing Turkey to release Kavala.
The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe oversees enforcement of European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) judgments. The three human rights group said that Turkey continues to violate Kavala’s rights by flouting the ECHR's landmark judgment which became final on May 12 requiring his immediate release.
“The European Court ruled that Kavala’s detention is unlawful, and their binding judgment requires Turkey to release him immediately,” said Emma Sinclair-Webb, Turkey director at Human Rights Watch.
“The Committee of Ministers, at its June 4 meeting, should press Turkey to comply and issue a clear message that no Council of Europe member state should be silencing human rights defenders.”
“The campaign of persecution against Osman Kavala and the failure to release him and drop all charges have perpetuated a chilling environment for all human rights defenders in Turkey,” said Ayşe Bingöl Demir, Co-Director of the Turkish Human Rights Litigation Support Project.
“The sequence of court orders prolonging his detention and the lack of objective deliberation as to the lawfulness of any deprivation of liberty indicates that decisions have been guided by political considerations and there has been a concerted official effort to prevent Kavala’s release,” said Róisín Pillay, Director of ICJ’s Europe and Central Asia Programme. “Since the European Court’s judgment, Turkey has continued to violate Kavala’s human rights.”
The ECHR on May 12 rejected an appeal by Ankara, upholding a December ruling calling for the release of Kavala. With the appeal now rejected, human rights advocates are calling on Turkey to abide by the decision and release Kavala without further delay.I can't keep my optimism, Osman Kavala says in letter marking 2.5 years in prison