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Turkey: "Cumhuriyet" editor's three-year jail term called "height of absurdity"

A demonstrator holds a copy of
A demonstrator holds a copy of "Cumhuriyet" newspaper during a protest outside a court in Istanbul, 31 October 2017

AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis

This statement was originally published on on 21 November 2017.

An Istanbul court today sentenced Oğuz Güven, the editor of the Cumhuriyet newspaper's website, to three years and one month in prison on charges of "terrorist propaganda". As Güven has appealed against his conviction, he remains for the time being on conditional release.

"Turkish justice has reached a new height of absurdity and we dare to hope that this conviction will be overturned on appeal," said Johann Bihr, the head of RSF's Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk.

Güven was found guilty of terrorist propaganda on behalf of the PKK Kurdish armed rebels and the Gülen Movement, which the government accuses of being behind the July 2016 coup attempt.

One of the prosecution's main evidences against Güven was a tweet about a prosecutor's death in a car accident that was deleted 55 seconds after being posted. Arrested in May of this year, Güven was held for a month before being freed conditionally pending trial. Four other Cumhuriyet employees are currently detained.

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