Re-arrest of Kavala exposes politically manipulated Turkish judiciary, HRW says

Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, said on Thursday re-arrest of Turkish philanthropist Osman Kavala showed that Turkish judiciary was politically motivated.

“The immediate re-arrest of Osman Kavala in another bogus investigation after his acquittal on trumped-up charges for the Gezi Park protests shows how Turkey’s criminal justice system is politically manipulated, with detention and prosecutions pursued at the political whim of the president,” Roth said.

Turkish businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala had been held in solitary confinement since November 2017, facing charges of conspiracy to overthrow the government. Prosecutors accused him of masterminding the Gezi Park protests of 2013, the biggest anti-government demonstrations since President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Islamist party came to power in 2002.

“Kavala has already been wrongfully imprisoned for 28 months. Extending his detention further is a travesty that should be promptly reversed," Roth said.

Kavala was re-arrested on Wednesday in connection to an investigation into a failed coup attempt in 2016, the day after his acquittal on charges of trying to overthrow the government.

Kavala was transferred to an Istanbul court after being held at the city’s police headquarters since being immediately re-detained following his acquittal on Tuesday in the 2013 Gezi trial.