human rights defenders
Turkey and the United States are in a fresh row over Washington's call to release businessman, philanthropist and human rights activist Osman Kavala. Turkey's Foreign Ministry said the U.S. statement did not respect the principles of a state based on the rule of law. "No state or person can give orders to Turkish courts regarding judicial processes," it said.
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. "Conscience and just" topped the list via being written 48 times, which were followed by "humble and humility."
Human Rights Watch has called on Turkey to reverse the convictions of four human rights defenders, saying that the sentences given to them are politically motivated. “We hope the higher courts will do their duty and reverse this miscarriage of justice," said Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
An Istanbul court sentenced four rights defenders to prison during a trial on July 3. The court sentenced Taner Kılıç to six years and three months in prison over "terrorist organization membership." Günal Kuşun, İdil Eser and Özlem Dalkıran were handed one year and 13 months jail terms over "aiding a terrorist organization."
Amnesty International has said that only the acquittal of all 11 human defenders, who face terrorism charges in a case dubbed ‘Büyükada trial,’ could deliver justice for the activists. The NGO's comment came just a day before an Istanbul court is expected to give a verdict regarding the case.
Law association to apply to Europe’s top rights court, UN over burial of bodies under sidewalks in Istanbul
Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD) said on May 26 that they will apply to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the United Nations over the burial of bodies belonging to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants under sidewalks in Istanbul after being taken from the Kurdish-dominated southeastern province of Bitlis. "This is a severe rights violation," said one of the lawyers from the association.
Turkey's Constitutional Court (AYM) ruled that ten prisoners' right to free communication was violated when their letters were confiscated. The letters had been about rights violations in prisons in Turkey, and had been confiscated on the grounds that they were detrimental to the prisons.
Friends of renowned businessman, philanthropist and human rights activist Osman Kavala has penned a letter to him. "We wanted to write to you from wherever we all are, on the street under the magical light of the full moon, near the sea, on the seaside, on the mountains on this May night, as a response to your April 19 letter. 'Despite all the pains, injustices and everything, thank you life, thank you Osman!'" they said.
According to an annual report on rights violations in the country prepared by the Human Rights Association (İHD), eight people were killed in unsolved murders in Turkey in 2019. "The last five years have become a period that the regime became increasingly authoritarian and the official ideology is being attempted to brought to life fully," the İHD said in the report released on May 5.
İbrahim Gökçek ended his death fast on the 323rd day on May 5 and was taken to a hospital for treatment. Grup Yorum announced that Gökçek ended his death fast "since the resistance have reached a political victory." "The entire world learned about this resistance. We gained a political victory and talks are going positive," the group said.
Human Rights Watch has called on Turkey to investigate claims of enforced disappearances. "Turkish authorities should urgently carry out an effective investigation into credible testimony from a man in pretrial detention that state agents forcibly disappeared him for nine months and tortured him," it said on April 29.
A Turkish prosecutor appealed the acquittal of philanthropist, businessman and human rights activist Osman Kavala and eight others over their alleged role in the 2013 Gezi Park protests. A 90-page document from the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, dated April 8, called for the Gezi case acquittal rulings to be annulled and for the defendants to be convicted as charged.
Sick inmates in Turkey are being denied treatment, with their relatives urging authorities to act egalitarian regarding a bill that would release thousands of prisoners and convicts and that excludes political prisoners amid the coronavirus pandemic. There are a total of 1,333 sick prisoners in the country, with 457 of them severely ill, according to the Human Rights Association.
Renowned philanthropist and human rights activist Osman Kavala criticized the successive court rulings to keep him in jail, saying that they are maneuvers to keep him in prison. "I get acquitted and another court case is brought up urgently to keep me in prison. When it drops, a third case is brought up! I'm ashamed on their behalf over what has been happening," Kavala told CHP deputy Utku Çakırözer.
Osman Kavala has deemed new "political or military espionage" charges against him "more ridiculous" than the previous accusations. "It's clear that this baseless allegation, which is more ridiculous than the previous ones, aims to invalidate the ECHR's violation ruling and the limitation on imprisonment before the preparation of an indictment to two years that was introduced by the judicial reform package," Kavala said.