Kavala says judicial reform package is ineffective unless personal freedom respected

Jailed Turkish philanthropist Osman Kavala said limiting the pre-trial detention with the new judicial reform package, which was unveiled in early October, will not solve Turkey's legal problems since prolonged detention is a result of the problem, not the reason behind, independent news site T24 reported on Friday.

"For real judicial reform, it must be accepted that freedom of the person is the most basic human right. If this happens, it will be understood that no one, no politician or public official has the authority to arbitrarily interfere with this sacred right," Kavala said.

Kavala, along with 15 leading civil society figures, are facing charges of attempting to overthrow the government via the nation-wide Gezi Park protests of 2013.

The government says human rights activist Kavala, the only suspect of the case who remains in prison, was the chief conspirator behind the protests, and that he used his non-profit arts and culture organisation Anadolu Kültür to sponsor sedition.

Hundreds of thousands of people participated in demonstrations across almost all of Turkey’s provinces. And, prosecutors have called for life sentences for the 16 defendants in the case that began six years after the protests amid 2016 failed coup attempt.

The problems behind his trial are throwing serious allegations without evidence and legitimising pre-trial detention and the practising judiciary as a tool for punishment, according to Kavala.

"This indictment is far from fulfilling the function of serving justice; it serves to discredit the participants of the Gezi Protests and to continue my detention. I think that advocating this indictment means approving the methods of misleading the judiciary and the understanding that produces those methods," Kavala said.