The European External Action Service (EEAS) issued a statement this Saturday requesting the release of Turkish philanthropist Osman Kavala, who has been convicted without a crime for almost four years.
Turkish authorities accuse Kavala of participating in the 2016 coup attempt. Kavala had previously been accused of organizing and funding an environmental protest in 2013 in Istanbul’s Gezi Park.
The EEAS regretted that Kavala had been detained for almost four years without having been convicted of any crime. He also reminded Turkey that, as a candidate country for EU accession, it “must make concrete and sustainable progress on fundamental rights”.
“We call on the Turkish judiciary to follow the recommendations of the Council of Europe to strengthen the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights and to implement the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which calls for the immediate release of Kavala,” says the script.
The ECHR ruled in favor of Kavala in December 2019, stressing that he had been arbitrarily detained in Turkey since November 2017.
On Friday, a Turkish court again extended the philanthropist’s term and ruled that the next hearing would take place on November 26th.