Osman Kavala, Turkish philanthropist, jailed for life
On Monday, Turkish philanthropist Osman Kavala was jailed for life without parole. He was convicted of trying to overthrow the government by financing protests. After the verdict, Western powers said that this case was politically motivated.
Kavala has been in jail for 4-1/2 years without a conviction and denied the charges he faced over the Gezi protests in 2013. Today, the court was packed with more than 200 people, including opposition members, Western diplomats and rights activists.
There has been widespread protest against the decision. The United States said it was “deeply troubled and disappointed” by the conviction. Before he was taken into custody, Kavala said the prosecutor’s request for a life sentence was based on “evidence that is not evidence” and amounted to “an act of assassination by use of the judiciary.”
The US State Department asked Turkey to release Kavala and said, “We remain gravely concerned by the continued judicial harassment of civil society, media, political and business leaders in Turkey.”
Kavala was acquitted in 2020 of charges related to the Gezi protests. Hours later another court ordered his arrest on a charge of attempting to overthrow the constitutional order related to the coup attempt.