Turkey frees journalist arrested for supporting pro-Kurdish paper

Turkish authorities have freed journalist and writer Ahmet Aziz Nesin, who was arrested with two rights activists for supporting a pro-Kurdish newspaper, broadcaster CNN Turk reported Saturday.

Nesin was arrested on June 20 along with Erol Onderoglu, from advocacy group Reporters Without Borders, Sebnem Korur Fincani from the Turkish Human Rights Foundation, and several others.

They had stepped in as symbolic editors for a day in support of Ozgur Gundem, a pro-Kurdish newspaper that has been under pressure from the government over alleged ties to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Onderoglu and Fincani were freed Thursday after 10 days in custody. A court ruled that they were not a flight risk before their scheduled November 8 trial.

Defence lawyer Ozcan Kilic said last week that prosecutors are investigating them under the country's controversial anti-terrorism laws, which have been condemned by rights activists.

The three could face extensive prison terms if found guilty of accusations of spreading "terrorist" propaganda.

The conflict between Turkey and the PKK restarted last year, after a ceasefire and peace talks collapsed.

Conditions for journalists in Turkey have worsened over the past year, activists say. It is ranked 151 of 180 countries on the Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders.

Last update: Sat, 02/07/2016 - 14:07
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