ISTANBUL (Reuters) – The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday called for the immediate release of Turkish businessman and activist Osman Kavala, saying there was a lack of reasonable suspicion that he had committed an offense.
Kavala has been in jail for more than two years while on trial on charges of organizing and funding nationwide protests in 2013 against then-Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. Kavala denies the claims and faces life in jail if convicted.
The court said it supported Kavala’s assertion that his detention aimed to silence him and that it was “applied for purposes other than bringing him before a competent legal authority on reasonable suspicion of having committed an offense”.
Reporting by Ali Kucukgocmen; Editing by Dominic Evans