Former Kurdish newspaper editor sentenced to 138 years in prison in Turkey

19:27, December 30, 2010      

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The former editor-in-chief of a Kurdish-language newspaper in Turkey was sentenced to 138 years behind bars for promoting the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) on Thursday, local media reported.

Emine Demir of daily Azadiya Welat (Independence of Homeland) was convicted of making propaganda for the PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by the Turkish government, by a court in the southeastern Diyarbakir Province, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.

The court found Demir guilty of propagandizing the PKK in 84 separate issues of the paper in 2008 and 2009.

Demir did not attend the court hearing and her lawyer said she did not follow instructions from the PKK and that her writings should be viewed as freedom of speech.

An arrest warrant was issued for Demir, the report said.

Listed as a terrorist organization also by the United States and the European Union, the PKK took up arms in 1984 in order to create an ethnic homeland in southeastern Turkey. Some 40,000 people have been killed in conflicts involving the PKK for the past over two decades.

Source: Xinhua
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