Activist and Philanthropist Osman Kavala Sentenced to Life in Prison by Turkish Court

The photo shows Osman Kavala in 2015. (Phot0 courtesy of Janbazian, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)

A Turkish court has sentenced activist and philanthropist Osman Kavala to life in prison. The government accused him of participating in an attempted coup in 2016. Previously, he had been accused of funding anti-government protests in 2013.

Kavala has supported the arts, sciences, and environmental projects in Turkey, along with free speech and democracy. Bruce Allen with FMI says, “Then we have President Erdogan in Turkey who has ruled for decades now. His rule has become increasingly authoritarian. Since that failed coup in 2016, thousands of people have been arrested, many more were removed from any public jobs.”

The trial

Both the U.S. State Department and the European Court of Human Rights condemned the ruling, citing a lack of evidence. Kavala has lived in prison over the last four years, even before being convicted. Allen says, “Kavala has denied all charges. In fact, he’s been charged three times with this crime and acquitted twice, already. It’s really strange because he was put on trial again after being acquitted twice, despite the absence of any new evidence.”

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Kevin Zeller

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