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Turkish newspaper staff sent back to prison

Six former employees of Cumhuriyet newspaper, including three journalists, returned to prison after a court rejected their appeal of terrorism convictions last year.
Opposition journalists hold a press conference in Istanbul on April 22, 2019. - Opposition journalists, who were initially supposed to remain free given their time served as part of the Cumhuriyet case, will have to go back to prison after an appeals court upholds their convictions in February 2019. (Photo by Yasin AKGUL / AFP)        (Photo credit should read YASIN AKGUL/AFP/Getty Images)

Six former employees of one of Turkey’s oldest newspapers were sent back to prison on Thursday after a court upheld their convictions on terrorism-related charges in a high-profile case international rights defenders have slammed as a blatant attack on press freedom.

The group, which includes journalists, lawyers, a board member and an accountant who worked for Cumhuriyet newspaper, were all sentenced to prison terms of fewer than five years exactly one year ago, and had been free pending their appeal. A district appeals court last week rejected their petition and ordered the men to return to prison.

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