Expression Interrupted

Journalists and academics bear the brunt of the massive crackdown on freedom of expression in Turkey. Scores of them are currently subject to criminal investigations or behind bars. This website is dedicated to tracking the legal process against them.

Committee of Ministers to examine Kavala’s situation at each meeting

Committee of Ministers to examine Kavala’s situation at each meeting

Also examining the case of Selahattin Demirtaş, the Committee reminds Turkey its obligation to abide by ECtHR judgments and urges authorities to ensure the jailed Kurdish politician’s immediate release



The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, which supervises the execution of European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) judgments, once again called on Turkey to release jailed businessperson and civil society leader Osman Kavala, who has been behind bars since November 2017 on “coup” and “espionage” charges.


At the Committee’s latest meeting held on 9-11 March 2021 in Strasbourg, the Deputies decided to examine Kavala’s situation at each regular and human rights meeting of the Committee until he is released.


Recalling the Committee’s previous two decisions and interim resolution in which it considered that the information available to it raised a strong presumption that Kavala’s current detention is a continuation of the violations found by the ECtHR, the Deputies urged Turkish authorities to ensure his immediate release pending the Constitutional Court’s decision.


Concerning the case of Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtaş, who has been jailed since 2016, the Deputies said that Turkey’s argument that Demirtaş’s current detention was outside the scope of the Grand Chamber judgment of December 2020 has already been examined and rejected by the ECtHR. The Committee underlined the ECtHR’s conclusion that the continuation of Demirtaş’s pre-trial detention on grounds pertaining to the same factual content would entail a prolongation of the violation of his rights as well as a breach of Turkey’s obligation to abide by the European Court’s judgment, urging the authorities to ensure his immediate release.


The Committee decided to resume its examination of Demirtaş’s case at its next meeting scheduled for June 2021.