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Feb 22 2019

Turkish courts sentence 27 academics to jail for signing peace call

Turkish courts on Thursday sentenced 27 academics to prison for signing a 2016 petition calling for a peaceful end to the three-decades-old conflict with Kurdish rebels, independent news site Bianet reported.

Thirteen academics received suspended jail terms of 22 months and five days, while the remaining 14 were sentenced to 27 months on charges of making terrorist propaganda. 

Turkish prosecutors have targeted many of the 2,200 academics who signed the 2016 petition and as of Feb. 5, 468 have been put on trial. Hundreds of the signatories have lost their jobs with no prospect of working in academia again, some have been subject to travel bans and some have had their passports revoked.

So far, in most of the cases, the courts have handed down suspended sentences.