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Lawyers demand freedom for Turkey's Osman Kavala after year in prison

Turkey’s best-known public intellectual Osman Kavala has been held in pre-trial detention without even an indictment in what his lawyers believe constitutes “torture” and observers say is an attempt to stifle dissent.
Jailed businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala's lawyers attend a press conference on October 31, 2018 to ask Osman Kavala's release, - Osman Kavala was arrested a year ago by Turkish authorities and has still to be charged with an offence. (Photo by OZAN KOSE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)

Lawyers for Turkish civil society leader Osman Kavala, jailed a year ago on suspicion of involvement in a failed military coup, broke their silence on Wednesday to call for his release, saying the failure to indict him amounted to “torture.”

Kavala’s case has become another flashpoint in Turkey’s troubled relationship with the West since President Recep Tayyip Erdogan began a far-reaching crackdown against his opponents and civil society in the wake of the military’s attempt to seize power in 2016. More than 50,000 people, including politicians, journalists and rights activists, have been imprisoned.

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