The United States has criticized Turkish authorities for
their allegations against 16 representatives of civil society, global media
and business related to anti-government demonstrations in 2013.
According to a
statement by the US Department of State, “serious measures such as life
imprisonment cannot be introduced for expressing one’s opinion.”
The United States
calls on Ankara to respect freedom of speech and peaceful assembly of
citizens and to release all illegally detained persons.
The charges were
brought against the backdrop of mass demonstrations that took place in
2013. Authorities detained 16 people,
arguing that demonstrations were part of a larger conspiracy to overthrow the
government. Officials demanded the
life sentence of businessman Osman Kavala.
Amnesty International believes
these allegations are an attempt by the authorities to silence some prominent
civil society figures in Turkey.