Turkish rights activist Kavala remains in jail over 2013 protests

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Istanbul – An Istanbul court on Tuesday ruled that Turkish philanthropist and rights defender Osman Kavala must remain in jail after more than two years over alleged links to the 2013 anti-government protests.

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The court cited the reason for his continued detention at the high-security Silivri prison that Kavala was a flight risk.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) had in December ruled in favour of Kavala’s release.

The court said on Tuesday that the ECHR ruling is not yet final.

Meanwhile, all lawyers left the courtroom on Tuesday in protest after their request to change the judges was rejected.

The lawyers accused the court of failing to be impartial. Kavala then continued his defense without lawyers.

The next hearing was set for February 18.

The public prosecutor is seeking life sentences for Kavala and 15 other defendants who are on trial for attempting to overthrow the government during the 2013 Gezi Park protests.

Also a businessman, Kavala is the chairman of cultural institution Anadolu Kultur, which also works with the German cultural promotion association, the Goethe Institute, in Istanbul.


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