Yiğit Aksakoğlu Released: There are Lots of Innocent People Behind Bars

Click to read the article in Turkish

Charged with “attempting to overthrow the government” with Gezi Park protests and arrested since November 17, 2018, rights defender Yiğit Aksakoğlu has been released after the hearing yesterday (June 25).

Aksakoğlu was detained in an operation against 13 people, including civil society workers and academics, on November 16, 2018 and he was arrested one day later. Jailed pending trial, he served 221 days in prison.

Ruling for his release on probation yesterday, the İstanbul 30th Heavy Penal Court has also imposed an international travel ban on him.

CLICK – Yiğit Aksakoğlu to be Released on Probation, Arrest of Osman Kavala to Continue

He was met with joy

Not leaving the Silivri Prison Campus after the verdict of release, the friends and relatives of Aksakoğlu waited for him at the canteen outside prison. Released hours later at around 11.50 p.m., he was met with applause by his wife Ünzile Aksakoğlu and his loved ones.

Making a brief statement after his release, Aksakoğlu said, “There are lots of unjustly arrested people behind bars. The lottery has not hit us. Justice should come to this country as soon as possible.”

“I was neither expecting my arrest nor my release”, Aksakoğlu further indicated. Expressing his joy for being released, he made the following remarks on Osman Kavala, whose arrest will continue:

“However, I am very sorry for Mr. Kavala. He has been behind bars for 20 months without any reason.” Concluding his remarks, Aksakoğlu reiterated his wish for justice in Turkey. (HA/SD)