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Turkey seeks up to 15 years jail for opposition daily staff

AFP  |  Istanbul 

Turkish prosecutors today demanded prison sentences of up to 15 years for 13 staff from the opposition newspaper, the daily and reported.

A total of 17 current and former writers, cartoonists and executives from ("Republic") are currently on trial on terror charges in a case which has raised alarm over press freedom under

The trial began on July 24, 2017, and despite several conditional releases in previous hearings, including two last week, the paper's remains in jail.

The requested between 7.5 and 15 years in jail for 13 staff for "helping an armed terror organisation without being a member" during the hearing in Istanbul, and state agency reported.

The 13 included Atalay, the daily's Murat Sabuncu, Ahmet Sik, and

Cumhuriyet did not specify what the demanded in relation to the others.

The court later ordered Atalay -- who spent his 500th day in prison on Wednesday -- to remain behind bars, the daily reported.

The said the next hearing of the trial will be on April 24, Cumhuriyet said.

The Cumhuriyet staff have been accused of coverage which offered support to three groups views as terrorists -- the (PKK), the ultra-left Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), and the movement of US-based who is accused of ordering the July 2016 attempted coup.

The P24 press freedom group said this week there were 153 journalists behind bars in Turkey, most of whom were arrested under the post-coup state of emergency.

ranked 155 out of 180 countries listed in the 2017 World Press Freedom index published by (RSF).

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 16 2018. 21:35 IST