STRASBOURG, France (Deutsche Welle) — The Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Tuesday, December 10, told Turkey to release philanthropist and human rights activist Osman Kavala.
The 62-year-old was arrested in November 2017 and accused of organizing anti-government protests in Istanbul’s Gezi Park four years earlier.
The ECHR cited a “lack of reasonable suspicion that the applicant had committed an offense” in its ruling.
The court said Turkey must now “take every measure to put an end to the applicant’s detention and to secure his immediate release.”
Kavala was accused of making an “attempt to overthrow the government” by organizing and financing an “uprising” with 15 other defendants, charges he denied.
Human rights groups said the accusation was baseless and aimed at silencing civil society activists. The charge carries a potential life prison sentence.