Turkish Court Sens Blind Rights Activist to Jail

(Reuter)–The Turkish appeals court Monday confirmed a sentence against a blind rights activist that would lead to his imprisonment for more than 20 years.

"Now a sentence of nearly 23 years has been confirmed for me after the appeal court stage," the activist and lawyer Esber Yagmurdereli who did not attend the court told Reuters.

He said the court rejected an appeal against a 10-month jail sentence handed down by a state security court for a speech he made seven years ago calling for a peaceful solution to the country’s long-running Kurdish conflict.

The appeal court decision will automatically bring into effect a former sentence given to Yagmurdereli for a similar conviction.

"I was released by another court years ago on the condition that I would not commit the same crime again and I had 22 years left to serve from that case," he said.

The 22 years left on Yagmudereli’s sentence were conditionally suspended on his release in 1991.

Yagmurdereli–52–will stay behind bars a total of almost 23 years until the year 2019. He is one of several rights workers jailed for what they said–particularly on the sensitive Kurdish issue.

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