The European Court of Human Rights called for his release in 2019, saying his incarceration acted to silence him and was not supported by evidence of an offense. The Council of Europe says it will start infringement proceedings against Turkey at the end of November if Kavala is not freed.
The wife of a jailed philanthropist at the center of a diplomatic crisis between Turkey and 10 Western nations described her husband’s imprisonment as inexplicable Monday, AP reports.
“There’s no way this situation can be explained either logically or legally,” Ayse Bugra said in comments published on Halk TV’s website. Her husband, Osman Kavala, has been in a Turkish prison for four years awaiting trial on charges many view as unfounded.
Last week, the ambassadors of 10 countries, including the U.S., Germany and France, called for Kavala’s release and the swift resolution of his case.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned their joint statement and announced on Saturday that he had ordered the envoys to be declared persona non grata, paving the way for them to be removed from Turkey.
Kavala, 64, was acquitted in February last year of charges linked to nationwide anti-government protests in 2013, but the ruling was overturned and joined to charges relating to a 2016 coup attempt. He faces a life sentence if convicted.
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