In a move that contradicts international demands, the Turkish judiciary has again refused to release Osman Kavala, a businessman known for his charitable activities and very popular in civil society circles, and Selahattin Demirtaş, the former co- president of the pro-Kurdish peoples. Democratic party.
Both men have been behind bars for years without any evidence to prove the charges against them, lawyers from Kavala and Demirtaş jointly say, who have been called by the United States, the European Court of Human Rights and European capitals. more than once questyear for their immediate release.
A few days ago, a Turkish court ordered the continuation of the detention of Kavala, in prison since October 2017, as part of a retrial of fifty-two people accused by Ankara of being responsible for the failed coup attempt against the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which took place in mid-July 2016. They also supported the Montazah protests and Gezi environmental events that took place in 2013 when participants refused to convert the park in a military barracks.
Koksal Bayraktar, the lawyer who defends the eminent businessman, said that “it is not possible to bring together more than one case and hold my clients accountable for this, as the Turkish judiciary has done”, adding in the statements made to the media local after the end of the court session: “There is no connection between Kavala’s accusation of being behind the coup attempt and the demonstrations in Gezi Park.
Turkish courts had previously acquitted Kavala of all charges against him, including “spying” for foreign parties, as well as his support for the Gezi protests, but the appeals court subsequently appealed those sentences, accusing him of being behind the failed coup attempt against Erdogan. rule.
Bayraktar and a number of Kavala lawyers opposed their client’s trial in two separate cases that the Turkish judiciary has merged together. As a result, he left the courtroom with some of his colleagues, to protest against the continuation of the trial, the next session of which has been postponed to November 26.
The Turkish lawyer told Al Arabiya.net that “my client did not commit a crime that merits imprisonment or trial”, underlining that “the trial in Kavala is conducted for political reasons”, a question that the accused himself repeated in his defense brief, in who again denied all charges against him.
Kavala’s case is similar to that of Ankara against Demirtaş, as he too did not commit a concrete crime and was detained with some of his party leaders while enjoying parliamentary immunity on November 4, 2016. Then the charges against him they continued, according to his lawyer.
Rezan Caravelle denounced the continued detention of the former co-president of the pro-Kurdish party, considering that this contradicts Turkish law and international demands for his client’s release.
In a statement to Al-Arabiya.net, said: “The Turkish judiciary does not respect the laws and, if it did, my client would be in hiding for a long time”, underlining that “his trial is taking place for political reasons”.
Demirtaş, along with 107 other members of his party, are currently on trial in a separate case in relation to the protests in Kobane, demonstrations that overwhelmed the cities with a Kurdish majority in Turkey in early October 2014, when ISIS was trying to control the Syrian Kurdish city of Kobane.
In addition to accusing Demirtas of “terrorism”, Ankara accuses him of “insulting the president” based on previous speeches, and holds him responsible for the killing of at least 37 people, most of whom were his party supporters, in the protests of Kobane against a background of clashes between the participants in those demonstrations and the Turkish security forces.
Ankara refuses to implement the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, which more than once decided to release Demirtaş and Kavala together.
The trial of both men is attended by representatives of famous human rights organizations, including “Amnesty International”, as well as representatives of Turkish opposition parties, as well as Western diplomats.
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