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Court suspends two pro-Kurdish websites indefinitely

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders has criticised a Turkish court's indefinite suspension of two pro-Kurdish websites and called for an explanation from the authorities, as the law requires.

On 20 March 2008, the Ankara assizes court ordered the suspension of the website of the daily paper "Gündem", http://www.ozgurgundem.org , which has been inaccessible since 1 April and, on 11 February, that of the Firat news agency (ANF), http://www.firatnews.eu , both for alleged "propaganda in favour of the Kurdistan Workers Party."

The worldwide press freedom organisation said the websites had never been officially informed of the court's decisions and the exact reasons they had been suspended and had not been able to defend themselves.

Internet websites are routinely shut down when part of their content is deemed unsuitable. Access to YouTube inside Turkey has been blocked three times in the past year after it posted a video that a court said was insulting to modern Turkey's founder, Kemal Atatürk.

Under the November 2007 law governing online publications and cyber-crime, websites can be suspended during judicial investigations. A military court banned the independent news site Indymedia ( http://istanbul.bbm.indymedia.org ) without explanation on 1 April.

For further information on the blocking of YouTube and Indymedia, see: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/92155/

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