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Court orders one-month suspension of newspaper under anti-terror law

(BIANET/IFEX) - 14 September 2011 - Publication of "Halkin Gunlugu" ("The People's Agenda") newspaper was suspended for one month on 10 September, the day the 18th issue of the paper, dated 10-20 September, was set to be published. All copies of the paper were seized and distribution of the latest issue is to be stopped.

The decision, given by the Istanbul Public Prosecution, is based on news and statements printed in the paper about the clandestine Maoist Communist Party (MKP) and the People's Liberation Army (HKO). The prosecution ordered the publication ban on the grounds of alleged "propaganda for an illegal armed terrorist organization".

The decision stems from a series of articles on page 2 and 3 of the paper which covered the deaths of militants in the Maoist Communist Party and its armed wing, the People's Liberation Army, in armed conflicts. The court ruled that the articles contained propaganda for a terrorist organization and alleged that "members of terror organizations were praised and statements [from the organization] were published." As a result, the court ordered the full seizure of the newspaper and a one-month publication ban, according to Article 25/2 of the Press Law and Articles 6/2 and 7/2 of Law No.3713 [Anti-Terror Law].

Reacting to the verdict, "Halkin Gunlugu" responded: "The banned articles and news stories in our newspaper deal with political developments and reflect a social phenomenon. We at the 'Halkin Gunlugu' newspaper will continue to make our contribution and fulfil our duty towards the struggle for a classless society in raising our voice against attack."

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