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Implementing ECHR judgments: Council of Europe strongly urges Turkey to release Osman Kavala

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Below you can find the media release of Council of Europe dated 04.12.2020.
The Committee of Ministers strongly urges Turkish authorities to release human rights defender #OsmanKavala and to ensure that the Constitutional Court completes its examination of his complaint without further delay.

Implementing ECHR judgments: Council of Europe strongly urges Turkey to release Osman Kavala

Strasbourg, 04.12.2020 – The Committee of Ministers of the 47-nation Council of Europe has adopted an Interim Resolution (*) strongly urging Turkey to ensure the immediate release of jailed businessman and human rights defender Mehmet Osman Kavala and to ensure that the Turkish Constitutional Court completes its examination of his complaint without further delay.
The Interim Resolution was adopted during the committee’s latest regular meeting to examine the implementation of judgments from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Mr Kavala was arrested in Istanbul on 18 October 2017 on suspicion of attempting to overthrow the Government and the constitutional order in Turkey through force and violence.
In December 2019, the European court ruled that his detention took place in the absence of sufficient evidence that he had committed an offence, in violation of his right to liberty and security under the human rights convention.
The ECHR also found that Mr Kavala’s arrest and pre-trial detention pursued an ulterior purpose, namely to silence him and dissuade other human rights defenders. In addition, the length of time taken by Turkey’s Constitutional Court to review Mr Kavala’s complaint was insufficiently “speedy”.
The European Court of Human Rights concluded that the government was to take every measure to put an end to the applicant’s detention and to secure his immediate release.
The applicant lodged a second application with Turkey’s Constitutional Court on 4 May 2020 complaining that there is insufficient evidence to justify his continuing detention and that the authorities have failed to implement the ECHR’s judgment of December 2019.
On 29 September 2020, the Constitutional Court postponed its consideration of Mr Kavala’s case to allow for the examination of further charges against him.
During its two previous examinations of this case – in September and October 2020 – the Committee of Ministers considered that the information available raised a strong presumption that the applicant’s on-going detention is a continuation of the violations found by the ECHR.
At this week’s meeting, the committee noted that the information received in the meantime did not affect its conclusion.
The Committee of Ministers decided to resume its examination of the case at the latest at its next meeting on the execution of ECHR judgments, which will take place in March 2021.

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