Osman Kavala, a renowned activist as well as a businessman, was ordered to life behind bars by a court in Turkey in a trial that its closest foreign partners argued was political in nature. Kavala had previously served almost four years behind bars while not even being convicted of any crime. He was convicted of crimes stemming from countrywide demonstrations back in 2013 and an unsuccessful coup effort in 2016. The allegations were disputed by Kavala, who condemned the ruling right-wing Justice and Development Party for “judicial assassination.”

The verdict of Kavala’s conviction has left the US “deeply concerned.” The court was crowded with ambassadors from across the world. Kavala was originally charged in 2013 with coordinating and funding widespread anti-government demonstrations. He was exonerated, however, was immediately implicated with playing a major role in the failed coup plot of 2016, which resulted in thousands of individuals being imprisoned or losing their careers. He was tried for both the charges during the case.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that there is a lack of proof that he perpetrated a crime and that his detention was an effort to “suppress him and deter future human rights campaigners.” The State Department noted in a release that “his unfair conviction is inconsistent with respect for human rights, basic freedoms, and the rule of law.” Kavala was born in Paris and raised in the UK. He operated a cultural center prior to getting propelled into the spotlight. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose administration has become increasingly autocratic in the past few years, has suspected Kavala of acting as a spy for American philanthropist George Soros, who has invested in liberal causes around the globe.

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