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European rights court condemns Turkey over journalists' detention

AFP , Tuesday 20 Mar 2018
This file photo taken on January 24, 2018 shows the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg, eastern France. The European Court of Human Rights has condemned Turkey over the detention of journalists Mehmet Altan et Sahin Alpay, it was announced on March 20, 2018.(Source: AFP)
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The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday condemned Turkey over the detention of two journalists, citing violations of their rights to liberty, security and freedom of expression.

The journalists, Mehmet Altan and Sahin Alpay, were among those arrested in the wake of the failed July 2016 coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The court ordered Turkey to pay each man 21,500 euros ($26,500).

"The court found in particular that Mr Alpay's continued pre-trial detention... could not be regarded as 'lawful' and 'in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law', it said in a statement.

Alpay was released last week, though a court ruled he must remain in his house and is forbidden from leaving Turkey, state news agency Anadolu reported.

Altan was handed a life sentence in February on charges of links to the group blamed for the failed coup, along with his brother Ahmet, also a writer, and veteran journalist Nazli Ilicak.

The European court said his detention, "following his expression of his opinions, constituted a severe measure that could not be regarded as a necessary and proportionate interference in a democratic society."

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