It is strange not to see face of justice for nine whole months, jailed businessman says

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Osman Kavala and his wife Prof. Ayşe Buğra Kavala, during a prison visit.

“It is a strange thing not to see the face of justice for nine whole months,” prominent businessman and rights activist Osman Kavala has said, marking his ninth month in jail without the filing of an indictment against him since his arrest last year on “terrorism” charges.

“Until now all my requests to be released have been turned down on the basis of the investigation file and without a court hearing,” Kavala wrote in a letter published on his website.

“The court decisions have stated that the imputed offense – or the ‘charge thrown at me’ in literally translated Turkish – necessitates my incarceration, and that the duration of detention is in proportion to the punishment for such a crime.”

An İstanbul court ruled to arrest Kavala on Nov. 1, 2017 following 13 days in police custody on charges of attempting to overthrow the constitutional order and attempting to remove the government of the Turkish Republic.

Just before his arrest, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared Kavala a criminal and the “Turkish Soros,” implying that Kavala was plotting to undermine his rule through civil society organizations.

“I am struck by the expression ‘the charge thrown at someone.’ Generally, it is a harmful thing that gets thrown at someone, throwing a slap in the face or throwing mud… The verb ‘to throw’ is also used to imply a quick and effortless act,” Kavala added.

Kavala is known for his contributions to nongovernmental organizations and especially for his support for Kurdish political and human rights activists in Turkey.

“I am waiting for the day when I will be able to defend myself in court and see the face of justice,” he said.

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