Kavala wishes a new year that all in Turkey would breathe freedom
Turkey’s imprisoned philanthropist Osman Kavala wished a new year that all in the country would breathe freedom.
“I wish to see days in the new year when we can breathe freedom in a country where people were not easily imprisoned, would not wait for death in their cells, where women were not murdered in the streets and workers were not killed in the mines,” Kavala said in his new year message released via his lawyers on Monday.
An Istanbul court on April 25, convicted Kavala to life in prison without parole for seeking to overthrow the Turkish government by financing the Gezi Park protests of 2013. Seven others were also sentenced to 18 years in prison in the same case. The 64-year-old human rights activist Kavala was arrested in November 2017 and had spent four and a half years behind bars without a conviction ahead of April’s hearing. In 2019, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) called on Turkey to immediately release Kavala, citing lack of evidence and a breach to his rights to freedom. The court said that his arrest was politically motivated.