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Prosecutor calls for 20-year prison sentence against editorial manager of women's magazine

(BIANET/IFEX) - The prosecutor for the 6th High Criminal Court of Diyarbakir (in southeastern Turkey) has demanded a prison sentence of 20 years for Gurbet Cakar, the editorial manager of the "Renge Heviya Jine" women's magazine. Cakar is being tried based on news, articles and photographs circulated in the only women's magazine in Turkey, which is published in both Kurdish and Turkish.

In a 7 October 2010 hearing, the public prosecutor presented his final arguments. He demanded that Cakar be punished based on charges of "membership in the PKK", the militant Kurdistan Workers Party, and "spreading propaganda for the PKK via the media".

Cakar was detained in March after giving a statement to the Diyarbakir Public Prosecutor. She has been held at the Diyarbakir prison since then.

Cakar attended the hearing together with her lawyer, Servet Ozen. The prosecutor claimed that Cakar "disseminated organizational propaganda" in ten articles and photographs published in the 5th edition of the magazine.

According to the prosecutor's final submission, an investigation into the contents of the magazine's 2nd and 4th edition was launched. Nevertheless, Cakar, as the editorial manger, did not alter the publication policies of the magazine and "continued to spread organizational propaganda as if the magazine was a publication organ of the PKK," the prosecutor stated.

Cakar pleaded for an acquittal, while Ozen demanded her client's release pending trial and requested additional time to prepare the final defence.

The court dismissed the lawyer's request for Cakar's release. Ozen was allowed additional time until 30 December. The court may reach a decision in the coming hearing.

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