Council of Europe Rights Commissioner Urges Turkey to Release Academics

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The Strasbourg-based Council of Europe’s human rights commissioner on Friday urged Ankara to release three Turkish academics after they criticized the government over security operations in the Kurdish-dominated southeast.

MOSCOW, (Sputnik) — Some 2,000 academics signed a petition in January, urging the government to end round-the-clock curfews and military action in the southeast, which allegedly targets militants of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), outlawed in Turkey.

"I hope that the judicial authorities will review their decision and release the academics as soon as possible," Nils Muiznieks wrote on Facebook.

Turkish Flag - Sputnik International
Ankara Probing Over 500 Academics for Petition to Stop Anti-Kurds Violence
Police detained 18 of the signatories, prompting concerns over freedom of speech in the country among Ankara’s Western allies.

On Tuesday, Turkish authorities arrested three academics – Esra Mungan, Kıvanc Ersoy and Muzaffer Kaya – on charges of making terrorism propaganda after they publicly read out the January petition and criticized the way the government treated those who signed up to it.

Muiznieks said their arrest was "unacceptable" and raised questions of "compatibility with the European Convention on Human Rights." He is scheduled to travel to Turkey on April 6-14 where, he said, he will raise the issue of the academics’ detention with the government.

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