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WSJ Says Journalist Convicted In Turkey Of 'Terrorist Propaganda'


Rights groups say that press freedom has sharply declined in Turkey following last year's failed coup attempt.

The Wall Street Journal says one of its reporters has been convicted in absentia in Turkey of terrorist propaganda and sentenced to two years and one month in prison.

Ayla Albayrak was convicted of engaging in propaganda supporting outlawed Kurdish rebels, the newspaper said late on October 10. It said the charge stemmed from a 2015 article on a conflict between Kurdish militants and government forces.

The U.S.-based newspaper defended the article as balanced, and Albayrak said she would appeal. She has dual Finnish and Turkish citizenship and is currently in New York.

The ruling has not been confirmed by authorities or the media in Turkey, where the case has never been publicized.

Meanwhile, Mesale Tolu, a German journalist whom Turkey accuses of terrorist propaganda and membership in a banned left-wing group, appeared before an Istanbul court on October 11. She denies the charges.

Rights groups say that press freedom has sharply declined in Turkey following last year's failed coup attempt, with increased censorship, crackdowns on independent media, and a rise in detentions and violence against journalists.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP
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