İHD Statement on the Re-detention of Osman Kavala



İHD Statement on the Re-detention of Osman Kavala


Businessperson and human rights defender Osman Kavala has been arbitrarily deprived of his liberty for about 2.5 years now when he was arrested on 18 October 2017 and placed in pre-trial detention on 1 November 2017.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has ruled on 10 December 2019 that Mr. Kavala’s detention was in violation of Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), (the right to liberty and security), and Article 18 (limitation on use of restrictions on rights). Article 5 § 1 of the ECHR prescribes that detention should be lawful and based on reasonable suspicion, while Article 18 proscribes the restriction of rights for ulterior purposes. The ECtHR has concluded that the detention of Mr. Kavala was not based on reasonable suspicion having been convinced that it was brought about by the authorities’ discomfort with his activities, therefore, ruling for his “immediate release.” While the ECtHR’s ruling for Mr. Kavala’s immediate release has not been implemented, on 18 February 2020, the local court has ruled for his acquittal and release at the verdict hearing of the “Gezi Case” within the scope of which he was standing trial. Yet İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Kavala on the same day preventing his release from prison on charges of attempting to overthrow the government within the failed coup d’état attempt of 15 July 2016 and İstanbul 8th Criminal Peace Judgeship ruled for his re-detention for the charges in question at midnight on 20 February 2020.

İHD believes that the treatment Osman Kavala has been facing is one that is against the inherent dignity of the human person and violates Article 5 of the ECHR, particularly 5 § 1, and Article 18 of the convention that sets forth restrictions on rights cannot be used for ulterior purposes other than those for which they have been prescribed. To be more precise, İHD is of the opinion that Osman Kavala has been arbitrarily detained.

The fact that such arbitrary detention practices in Turkey have become increasingly more conspicuous shows that the political power is keen on maintaining its policy of judicial harassment and instrumentalizing the judiciary. It has been revealed once again in the person of Osman Kavala that the targeted goals put forth in the Judicial Reform Strategy Document cannot be achieved.

Consequently, İHD invites the authorities to put an end to the arbitrary arrest, detention and criminal proceedings against businessperson and human rights defender Osman Kavala and restore his liberty.