Surprise Acquittal of nine Human Rights activists in Turkish court

The Socialists & Democrats group in the European Parliament has welcomed the decision by the Turkish court this week concerning the very important human rights Gezi Park trial that had been widely criticised as unjust.

This week, the court has ruled to acquit all defendants including Osman Kavala, Mücella Yapici and Yiğit Aksakoğlu.

Well-known human rights activist and a prominent philanthropist Osman Kavala, the only jailed defendant in the case, will be released from prison.

Kati Piri, the S&D vice-president responsible for foreign affairs, said: "Today’s decision by the court is the best news in a long time from Turkey. It was clear from the start that these allegations were totally unfounded and are of a pure political nature. I welcome Osman Kavala’s release today and I hope to meet him soon in Brussels so that he can address the S&D Group the first moment he is available. Let us hope that the acquittal in this case will also lead to the release of other political prisoners.”

S&D MEP Nacho Sánchez Amor, European Parliament rapporteur on Turkey, added: “During my recent visit to Turkey, I, together with many other people involved in Turkey’s affairs, asked for some positive signals and I want to underline this verdict as an important step in the right direction. I hope that we can also see the same decisions in other upcoming cases and that Turkey finally comes back to normality. I encourage Turkey to use this positive opportunity in improving its relations with the European Union and I, as the rapporteur, will try to help in this process.”

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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