Turkish Journalist Imprisoned for Article

ANKARA (Reuters)–A Turkish journalist was jailed for 10 months for spreading separatist propaganda in an article published by a pro-Kurdish daily five years ago–rights activists said on Tuesday.

"Haluk Gerger himself went to the prison yesterday after his conviction was approved by the appeal court," Akin Birdal–chairman of the Human Rights Association–told Reuters.

Birdal did not specify when Gerger was found guilty under the anti-terror law for separatism. It was not immediately clear what exactly Gerger had written about in the article–published by the Ozgur Gundem daily–since closed by the authorities.

"I will keep on telling the truth and defending the peace," Gerger said in a statement before entering the jail.

Human rights workers say Turkey has about 70 journalists in jail–one of the highest figures of any country in the world.

Turkey passed a partial amnesty for jailed editors last year–but journalists can still be imprisoned for what they write or for breaking the strict limits on press freedom.

Concerns over human rights were among the reasons listed by the European Union for rejecting Turkey’s long-standing bid for membership of the bloc last month.


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