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Commenting on Turkish human rights advocate Osman Kavala being held in solitary confinement without trial for a year, EP Subcommittee on Human Rights Chair Pier Antonio Panzeri stated:

“Today is a sad day. Mr Osman Kavala, a prominent and respected leading figure in Turkey’s arts and culture scene has to date been detained in solitary confinement without indictment for 365 days. I am dismayed by the ongoing injustice exacted upon a man of peace, who through Anadolu Kültur, is a bridge-builder between Turks, Armenians and Kurds.

International standards on the treatment of prisoners prohibit prolonged solitary confinement. The charges against Mr Kavala must be based on clear evidence and brought before a judge to rule on the legality and necessity of his detention, or he should be released.

His current arbitrary detention represents a further blow in the ongoing crackdown against Turkish civil society. Turkey has one of the longest traditions in fostering a vibrant civil society which contributes valuably to the empowerment of Turkish society as a whole”.

Mr Panzeri also emphasised that “the Turkish authorities need to ensure that the physical and psychological integrity of all human rights defenders are guaranteed, that the presumption of innocence is respected and that the justice system is independent, in accordance with the international human rights conventions and treaties, which Turkey has ratified”.

“Reiterating the EU’s willingness to cooperate with Turkey as a key partner, it is my hope to enhance our open political dialogue and to join efforts to address regional challenges together.”

The statement was issued by the Chair of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights Pier Antonio Panzeri (S&D, IT).


Office of MEP Pier Antonio PANZERI

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