ISTANBUL — Prominent Turkish businessman and human rights activist Osman Kavala’ has been re-arrested, just hours after he was acquitted of trying to overthrow the government, Turkish media report.
A court ordered Osman Kavala’s immediate release earlier on Tuesday, after dropping charges against him and eight others over protests in 2013. He had spent over two years in prison.
But hours later, a warrant was issued against him over a 2016 coup attempt which triggered a massive crackdown.
Rights group Amnesty International said Mr Kavala’s renewed detention “smacks of deliberate and calculated cruelty”.
“To have been granted release after almost two-and-a-half years behind bars only to have the door to freedom so callously slammed in his face is a devastating blow for Osman Kavala, his family and all who stand for justice in Turkey,” the group’s Turkey campaigner said in a statement.
Osman Kavala is one of the most prominent figures of Turkey’s civil society and is a committed activist, promoting cultural and intellectual dialogue for peace and reconciliation.
He is a close friend of the Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink’s family and has been actively fighting for a fair trial on Dink’s murder.
On April 24, 2016, Osman Kavala visited the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan and paid tribute to the memory of the innocent victims.