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From Pastor Andrew Brunson to Osman Kavala: Turkey’s Prisoners of Conscience

November 19 at 11:00 am - 12:30 pm EST

American Pastor Andrew Brunson, targeted for his faith leadership, spent two years in a Turkish prison on trumped-up charges of terrorism and espionage. Prominent Turkish philanthropist Osman Kavala, an ardent supporter of Turkey’s ethnic and religious minorities and their heritage, has been similarly targeted and kept in prison for over three years. These two cases highlight the plight of Turkey’s vulnerable minorities and those who advocate for them. Although Pastor Brunson was recognized as a prisoner of conscience, Kavala hasn’t received the same attention. This panel draws attention to state persecution of individuals who advocate for religious minorities and defend pluralism in majority Muslim countries.

Hosted by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Anti-Defamation League’s Task Force on Middle East Minorities, From Pastor Andrew Brunson to Osman Kavala: Rethinking Prisoners of Conscience in Turkey and Beyond, will explore the common patterns in the cases of Brunson and Kavala and provide policy recommendations on how to ensure prisoners of conscience — particularly those persecuted for their support of religious minorities — in Turkey and elsewhere receive the international attention and assistance they deserve. The event will be hosted on the virtual sidelines of the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom or Belief (hosted virtually by the Government of Poland).


November 19
11:00 am - 12:30 pm EST
Event Category:




RSVP Required, Open to Press
Record Type
On the Record
Contact Email for Event Planner

The Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom or Belief is being virtually hosted by the Government of Poland. Official events are hosted by Poland. All side events are independently produced by the organizers of each event and are not endorsed by any government, the IRF Roundtable, or 21Wilberforce