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12/31/2020 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – Following a hearing on December 29th, Turkey’s Constitutional Court ruled that Osman Kavala’s detention did not violate his fundamental rights. He has spent more than 3 years in jail without a conviction and the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that his detention is politically motivated. Turkey has repeatedly been urged to release Kavala, to no avail.

The impact of Kavala’s detention on religious freedom issues is explored in ICC’s joint report entitled Turkey: Challenges Facing Christians 2016-2020. His case is featured in the section detailing how the erasure of Christianity from the collective memory of society is a tactic of persecution commonly used in Turkey. The report states, “Civil activists who promote the protection of cultural heritage, encourage dialogue about the genocide, and promote diversity in Turkish society are targeted by ultra-nationalist elements within the Turkish state and society.” 

The report also asks, “Why are civil activists seeking to raise awareness of Turkey’s religious diversity and culture obstructed in their efforts and even penalized, rather than encouraged?”

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