A Turkish court on Wednesday sentenced 14 staff members of the country’s main opposition newspaper, Cumhuriyet , to prison on charges of supporting terrorist groups. Rights groups, including Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders, had sharply criticized the case amid broader fears about a crackdown on press freedom in Turkey. Read more: European Rights Court condemns Turkey over journalist jailings The verdict: Prosecutors charged a total 17 Cumhuriyet employees with supporting groups the government has labeled terrorist organizations. Three defendants were acquitted. The groups allegedly being supported included the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the far-left Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) and the Gulen movement, which the government accused of masterminding a failed coup in 2016. The paper’s chairman, Akin Atalay, was sentenced to eight years, one month and 15 days in prison, but would be set free pending an appeal. Atalay was the only defendant still in prison at the time of the verdict. Editor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu and prominent investigative journalist Ahmet Sik were both sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison. The remaining 11 convicted defendants received prison sentences of varying lengths. The case against former-editor-in-chief Can Dundar, who is living in exile in Germany, would continue separately. Read more: Turkish police break up press freedom rally after… Read full this story
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