• Urgent Action

Urgent Action: TURKEY: FREE THE GEZI DEFENDANTS (Turkey: UA 37.22)

April 29, 2022

On April 25, 2022, civil society leader Osman Kavala who has been imprisoned on pretrial detention since November 2017, was convicted for “attempting to overthrow the government” and sentenced to aggravated life in prison; his seven co-defendants each received a sentence of 18 years, allegedly for aiding Osman Kavala and were immediately remanded in prison. Amnesty International calls on the Chief Prosecutor for the Istanbul Regional Appeals Court to support and not to oppose any application or request of Osman Kavala, Mücella Yapıcı, Çiğdem Mater, Mine Özerden, Can Atalay, Tayfun Kahraman, and Hakan Altınay all currently in prison while they appeal their unjust convictions.

  1. Please take action as-soon-as possible. This Urgent Action expires on June 24, 2022.
  2. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  3. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 37.22. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.
Metin Sarıhan Cumhuriyet Başsavcısı Istanbul Bölge Adliye Mahkemesi Orhantepe Mah. Üsküdar Cad. No:236/A Kartal Istanbul / Turkey Fax: +90 216 303 21 68
Ambassador Hasan Murat Mercan Embassy of the Republic of Turkey 2525 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington DC 20008 Phone: 202 612 6700 | 6701 Fax: 202 612 6744 Email: [email protected] Twitter: @HMuratMercan ; @TurkishEmbassy Facebook: @turkishembassy

SAMPLE LETTER Dear Chief Prosecutor, I am writing to urge you to support and not to oppose any application for the release of Osman Kavala, Mücella Yapıcı, Çiğdem Mater, Mine Özerden, Can Atalay, Tayfun Kahraman, and Hakan Altınay who were convicted on April 25, 2022, in the prosecution dubbed the ‘Gezi trial’. Osman Kavala has spent more than 4.5 years in pre-trial detention. In handing down the guilty verdicts, the court also ordered the remand of six other defendants. A warrant for the arrest of Yiğit Ali Ekmekçi, the eighth defendant, has been issued. Osman Kavala received an aggravated life sentence for ‘attempting to overthrow the government’ but was acquitted of the ‘political and military espionage’ charge for which he has been in pre-trial detention since February 2020. The acquittal was due to ‘lack of evidence’ after, along with the other seven defendants, he had already been acquitted in the first trial. The other seven defendants were convicted for allegedly aiding Osman Kavala and sentenced to 18 years in prison each. The Court ordered their immediate remand on grounds that they are a flight risk. Throughout the first and the second trial, the prosecuting authorities failed to present any evidence that would prove the defendants’ guilt of the alleged charges, a fact that was acknowledged in the verdict by one of the three judges who stated in his dissenting opinion that ‘because there is no concrete, certain and believable evidence that would prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt, [the court] should rule for the acquittal of the defendants.’ I call on you to support and not to oppose the seven defendants’ requests for their release from prison pending the determination of their appeals. Sincerely, [YOUR NAME] ADDITIONAL RESOURCES