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Ailing author imprisoned

(BIANET/IFEX) - 1 February 2011 - Executives of Ceylan Publishing, along with Ragip Zarakolu, president of the Freedom for Publishing Commission of the Turkish Publishers Association (TYB), and the Istanbul Branch of the Human Rights Association (IHD) have issued a press statement criticising the arrest of author and human rights defender Hasan Basri Aydin.

The declaration was signed by Yilmaz Koruk, owner of Ceylan Publishing, the company's editor, Mukaddes Erdogdu Celik, the writer's daughter, Alanur Aydin, and Zarakolu. The authors argue that Aydin, who is in poor health, should be released.

The 76-year-old writer was taken into custody in Firuzkoy (Istanbul) last month. He was imprisoned on 22 January after being sentenced, in two separate cases, to two years and two months in jail. In one of the cases, he was convicted for "insulting" Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek.

The statement also criticised the fact that Necmettin Erbakan, a former Turkish Prime Minister, was spared imprisonment, while Aydin was sent to the Pasakapisi Prison.

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