Council of Europe (CoE) Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović has announced her decision to intervene in a case against jailed Turkish rights activist Osman Kavala before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), the Hürriyet Daily News reported.
“Mr. Kavala lodged an application before the European Court of Human Rights on 8 June 2018, alleging violations of several Articles of the ECHR, which was communicated on 30 August 2018. I have decided to exercise my power under the ECHR and I informed the European Court of Human Rights that I will submit written observations as a third party in the pending case of Mehmet Osman Kavala v. Turkey,” Mijatović said in a statement on Tuesday.
Kavala was detained in October of last year and subsequently jailed pending trial, accused of seeking to overthrow the government as part of an investigation into the Gülen network, which Ankara accuses of carrying out a 2016 failed coup.
In a statement marking one year since he was remanded into custody, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch renewed calls at the end of October for Kavala’s immediate and unconditional release.
No indictment outlining the precise charges against him had so far been issued by prosecutors, their statement said.
“His detention has had far-reaching effects on human rights defenders and their work in Turkey. As such, I raised his case on several occasions in my official meetings with the Turkish authorities during my contact mission to Turkey last month and called for his speedy release,” Mijatović said in her statement.
“During my contact mission, the Turkish authorities spoke of a normalisation process following the lifting of the state of emergency. However, these latest developments cast serious doubts about this process,” she said, referring to the latest detention of human rights activists last week.
Detention warrants were issued on Nov. 16 for 20 prominent academics as part of the Kavala investigation. A Turkish court arrested one of the detainees, while the remainder are subject to travel bans.
“These persons, twelve of whom have subsequently been released under judicial control with a travel ban, include respected partners of my Office and the Council of Europe,” Mijatović said.