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Ailing Kurdish journalist sentenced to 14 years on terrorism charges

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The Şırnak 1st High Criminal Court on Tuesday handed down a 14-year prison sentence to Ziya Ataman, a Kurdish journalist suffering from chronic illnesses, on terrorism charges.

Ataman, a former reporter for the now-closed Dicle news agency, has been in pre-trial detention for three-and-a-half years and repeatedly applied for release due to his poor health.

During the final hearing, two other suspects who testified against the Kurdish journalist, relatives Kadir Ataman and Harun Ataman, said they had been subjected to torture and ill treatment during questioning and that they had retracted their allegations.

A press freedom report by the Council of Europe recently named Turkey the world’s largest jailer of journalists.

Turkey was also ranked 157th out of 180 countries in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders.

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