Statement by Osman Kavala upon completion of his 6th year in prison

I have been unjustly imprisoned for 6 years, despite the absence of any incriminating evidence. While waiting for an end to this, my prison conditions deteriorated when the Court of Cassation upheld this injustice. I was honoured to receive the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize, awarded by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), a prize named in honour of Vaclav Havel, who himself endured incarceration. Yet, the attacks by Hamas on civilians and the humanitarian disaster in Gaza caused by Israel's bombardment left me unable to feel any content. I hope that international organizations will become more attuned to the injustices in Palestine, which fuel terror and violence, bringing about immense sorrow, and take strong initiatives towards peacebuilding in the region that adheres the international legal norms.

As Havel said, “the most important is not losing the hope”. I have not lost hope that the rule of law will eventually prevail in my country.

Osman Kavala, 1 November 2023