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Turkish court releases 6 including German journalist Tolu

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An İstanbul court on Monday released German journalist Mesale Tolu along with five others on judicial probation, Cumhuriyet reported.

Tolu, who was detained in April 2017, is one of 18 people accused of membership in the left-wing Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP) extremist group and spreading terrorist propaganda. They face up to 20 years in jail.

Tolu’s husband was also detained, and their 3-year-old son has been living with his mother in jail for the last eight months.

The next hearing is scheduled for April 26.

In an October hearing, the court ordered that Tolu and five other defendants remain in jail pending trial while releasing eight others.

According to a Deutsch Welle report the German government has called for her unconditional release. The chancellor’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said the conditional release “in no way [marks] an end to the case of Mesale Tolu.”

German lawmaker Cem Özdemir of the Green party welcomed the decision but warned it meant little would change in the country. Instead, Özdemir called on Ankara to release “all political prisoners and German citizens.”

Several German citizens including journalist Deniz Yücel of the Die Welt newspaper are still in prison in Turkey.

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