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PACE co-rapporteurs appalled by Turkish Supreme Court’s decision to confirm the aggravated life sentence for Osman Kavala

Osman Kavala, Turkey

“We wish to express our deep consternation at the decision of the Turkish Court of Cassation which confirmed the aggravated life sentence for philanthropist Osman Kavala. This is in disregard of two decisions of the European Court of Human Rights ordering his release,” said today John Howell (United Kingdom, EC/DA) and Stefan Schennach (Austria, SOC), co-rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe for the monitoring of Türkiye.

“We are also appalled by the Court`s confirmation of sentences for four other defendants in the Gezi trial, while taking note with satisfaction of the order to release three further prominent civil society activists who remain under judicial control, including the former Director of the Council of Europe School of Political Studies.”

“We are extremely disappointed overall with this ruling,” the rapporteurs added.

“We and the Council of Europe will continue to exert pressure on the Turkish authorities to comply with the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights and release all defendants,” they concluded.

Mr Kavala is one of the three candidates shortlisted for the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize, to be awarded on 9 October, in Strasbourg, during the PACE Autumn plenary Session. An urgent debate has been requested during the Session under the title “Call for the immediate release of Osman Kavala”.