US deeply “troubled and disappointed” by the Kavala ruling

US deeply “troubled and disappointed” by the Kavala ruling
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The US State Department said that Osman Kavala’s unjust conviction “is inconsistent with respect for human rights and the rule of law”

The United States State Department expressed concern over a court decision that upheld the conviction of Turkish philantropist Osman Kavala, who was sentenced to life in jail without parole in April on the charge of trying to topple the government by financing an uprising in 2013.

Vedant Patel, the principal deputy spokesperson of the state department said in a statement that the Us is “deeply troubled and disappointed” by the court’s decision.

“As we have said before, his unjust conviction is inconsistent with respect for human rights and the rule of law,” the statement said, and called on Turkey to release Osman Kavala, in keeping with European Court of Human Rights rulings, “as well as to free all others arbitrarily incarcerated.”

Seven other Turkish activists were jailed for 18 years each in the same case with Kavala for aiding the attempt to overthrow the government of then-prime minister Erdogan during “Gezi rallies,” which started as an eco-friendly resistance in Istanbul but soon turned out to be an all out anti-government protests across Turkey.

“The people of Turkey deserve to exercise their human rights and fundamental freedoms without fear of retribution,” the statement said.

Kavala's years-long trial prompted a spat between Turkey and the west, as Kavala languished in prison even before conviction. The European Court of Human Rights ordered his release in 2019.

The Council of Europe threatened Turkey with disciplinary measures and, in December 2021, initiated infringement proceedings.

Last year, Turkey threatened to expel ten foreign ambassadors after their embassies signed a letter calling for Kavala's release, sparking a brief diplomatic crisis.