Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs; Credit: SIP / Yves Kortum

Luxembourg's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, has called on the Turkish authorities to immediately release human rights activist Osman Kavala.

Osman Kavala was arrested in Istanbul on 18 October 2017 on suspicion of an attempt to overthrow the Turkish government and constitutional order by force and violence. In December 2019, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that his detention took place in the absence of sufficient evidence, in violation of his right to liberty and security under the European Convention on Human Rights.

Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn stated on Tuesday that he regretted that Mr. Kavala has still not been released to date. The minister maintained that the human rights activist's continued and arbitrary detention casts doubt on the respect and execution of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights in Turkey, despite repeated appeals from the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

According to Minister Jean Asselborn, the Osman Kavala case is symptomatic of the plight of human rights defenders, as well as those who seek to use their freedom of expression peacefully, online and offline, and who are being silenced by this type of process.

Luxembourg's Foreign Minister thus urged the Turkish authorities to comply without delay with their contractual obligations. He concluded: "More than 70 years after its accession as founding state of the Council of Europe, Turkey cannot continue to ignore the rule of international law and must set up a fully independent judicial system".