Amnesty International reiterates call for jailed businessman’s immediate release

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

Amnesty International reiterated its call for jailed businessman Osman Kavala’s “immediate and unconditional” release as he marked 708 days behind bars in pre-trial detention.

A third hearing in Kavala’s trial, in which the businessman and 15 others are accused of attempting to overthrow the Turkish government, facing life sentences, will be held on Tuesday.

“We will be in the courtroom in Silivri tomorrow and hope the hearing will rectify the grave injustice of this unfair prosecution. As Osman Kavala marks 708 days behind bars on pre-trial detention, we renew our call for his immediate and unconditional release from jail and for the charges against him and the 15 other civil society figures to be dropped,” Andrew Gardner from Amnesty International said in a statement on Monday.

“Freeing Osman Kavala and ending this farcical prosecution would be emblematic of a return to the respect of domestic and international human rights protections. A further extension of Osman Kavala’s detention would signal the continuation of the shameful attempt to silence independent civil society will continue.

“Osman Kavala and 15 others are facing fantastical accusations devoid of any evidence that they were involved in any criminal activity, let alone conspiring to overthrow the government. It is important to be reminded that the burden of proof is on the prosecuting authorities, and they have utterly failed to meet it.”

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