Court says Turkey violated petition-signing scholars’ rights

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s top court has ruled that 10 academics had their rights violated when they were sentenced on charges of disseminating terrorist propaganda for signing a petition that called for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast.

They were among hundreds of members of a group called Academics for Peace who signed the petition in January 2016. Nearly two dozen have been convicted of aiding outlawed Kurdish rebels by adding their names to the document.

The Constitutional Court ruled Friday in favor of the 10 academics who appealed their sentences. It ordered re-trials and for them to be compensated.

The ruling could lead to acquittals for other academics on trial.

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The petition was circulated after the government imposed curfews in southeast Turkey while cracking down on the rebel Kurdistan Workers’ Party.

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