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Turkey arrests journalist over social media post, sparking outcry from civic groups

International and local rights watchdogs lambasted Firat Can Arslan’s and four other journalists’ detention.
Journalists shout slogans and hold placards on Jan. 10, 2016.

ANKARA — Turkish authorities on Tuesday arrested Turkish journalist Firat Can Arslan over his social media posts, sparking outcry from local and international rights groups. 

Mesopotamia News Agency reporter Arslan was arrested pending trial by a local court after Turkish police detained him and four other journalists earlier in the day. A local prosecutor accused Arslan of “targeting public servants tasked with fighting against terrorism” in a tweet he posted on July 18 on the reappointment of prosecutors who had previously indicted 18 Kurdish journalists over terrorism charges.

Three of four remaining detained journalists, who were taken into custody for retweeting Arslan’s post, have been released on probation and banned from traveling abroad. Bianet editor Evrim Kepenek was waiting for her arraignment trial as of this writing. 

The detainment of journalists has drawn widespread outcry from local and international civic groups. 

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