A letter from Osman Kavala upon completion of his 9th month in prison:

I have been in Silivri prison for nine months.

At least a year will have passed by the time the indictment is ready and the day of the trial arrives. I was not anxious when I was detained, and I am still not. But it is a strange thing not to see the face of justice for nine whole months.

Until now all my requests to be released have been turned down on the basis of the investigation file and without a court hearing. The court decisions have stated that the imputed offense – or the “charge thrown at me” in literally translated Turkish – necessitate my incarceration, and that the duration of detention is in proportion with the punishment for such a crime. I am struck by the expression “the charge thrown at someone”. Generally, it is a harmful thing that gets thrown at someone, throwing a slap in the face or throwing mud… Usually the verb to throw is also used to imply a quick and effortless act.

In my case, the charge “thrown” at me is “attempting to overthrow the constitutional order and the government”. When this is the imputed crime, it automatically comes with prison detention; and it is thought that this is justifiable as long as the period of detention does not exceed the final sentence the accused gets if found guilty. Thus, the charge and part of the punishment are both “thrown” at the suspect right in the beginning, and for months one is left burdened with both.

I am waiting for the day when I will be able to defend myself in court and see the face of justice.

Osman Kavala, 19 August 2018