Duvar English

A thousand words were said for philanthropist, businessman and human rights activist Osman Kavala to mark his 1,000th day of imprisonment on July 27.

In a campaign launched last week, participants were asked to describe Kavala with a word, with “conscience and just” topping the list via being written 48 times.

“Humble and humility” were used 44 times, “goodness and good” were used 30 times, “human” was used 28 times, “kindness” was used 19 times, hope was used 17 times, “altruist” 14 times, “solidarity” 13 times and “grace” and “freedom” 11 times each.

The call to describe Kavala in one word was made in Turkish, Kurdish, Armenian, Greek, Arabic and English.

Kavala was arrested on Nov. 1, 2017 as part of an investigation concerning the Gezi Park protests of 2013. Although he was cleared of charges in this case on Feb. 18, he was re-arrested the following day, this time accused of attempting to overthrow the constitutional order in a failed coup in 2016.

The ECHR on Dec. 10, 2019 ruled that Turkey violated the rights of Kavala and called for his immediate release. It cited a “lack of reasonable suspicion that the applicant had committed an offense” in its ruling.

On March 9, one day before Turkey objected to the ECHR judgment’s ruling, the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office filed “new” charges against the jailed activist, this time accusing him of committing “political and military espionage.”

As the ECHR’s ruling pertains to Kavala’s imprisonment stemming from the Gezi Park trial, the philanthropist has not been released.

However the opposition and NGOs have pointed out that the “new” investigation is in fact the same one under which the authorities had initially put Kavala in jail in 2017. They said that the prosecutors had refashioned their old investigation into a brand new charge in an attempt to keep Kavala in jail.