Ned Price, Department Spokesperson
The United States is deeply troubled and disappointed by the court’s decision to convict Osman Kavala today. His unjust conviction is inconsistent with respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law. We again call on Turkey to release Osman Kavala, in keeping with European Court of Human Rights rulings, as well as to free all others arbitrarily incarcerated. We remain gravely concerned by the continued judicial harassment of civil society, media, political and business leaders in Turkey, including through prolonged pretrial detention, overly broad claims of support for terrorism, and criminal insult cases. The people of Turkey deserve to exercise their human rights and fundamental freedoms without fear of retribution. The right to exercise freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, and association is enshrined in Turkey’s constitution and its international law obligations and OSCE commitments. We urge the government to cease politically motivated prosecutions and to respect the rights and freedoms of all Turkish citizens.