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Saturday, 7 May 2016

Turkish Journalists Jailed Over State Secrets

Can Dundar and Erdem Gul are sentenced hours after Dundar was shot at outside court by a gunman who apparently shouted "traitor".
Two Turkish journalists have been sentenced to at least five years in prison for revealing state secrets.
Can Dundar, editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet newspaper, and former colleague Erdem Gul were jailed over a story claiming that Turkey was shipping weapons to militants in Syria in 2014.
Dundar was sentenced to five years and 10 months, while Gul was handed a five-year sentence. 
The pair, who were acquitted of trying to topple the government, will not go to prison immediately as they are likely to appeal. 
Speaking after the verdict, Dundar said: "We will continue to do our job as journalists, despite all these attempts to silence us. 
"We have to preserve courage in our country."
The sentencing came just hours after Dundar was shot at outside court. 
The gunman apparently shouted "traitor" before firing at least three shots.
Dundar was unharmed but a reporter covering his trial was injured by a ricocheting bullet. 
Crowds of journalists were waiting outside the court for the result of the closed-door hearing.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the men of undermining the country's reputation and vowed Dundar would "pay a heavy price".
Mr Erdogan has admitted trucks which were stopped by police en route to the Syrian border belonged to the National Intelligence Organisation.
He said they were carrying aid to Turks battling Syria's president and Islamic State.
Gul and Dundar had already spent 92 days in jail, almost half of it in solitary confinement, before the constitutional court ruled in February that pre-trial detention was unfounded because the charges stemmed from their journalism.
Their case has led to international criticism of Turkey's press freedom record.
Some 2,000 people, including many journalists, are facing charges of insulting the president.

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