Appeals court upholds imprisonment of peace petition signatory academic

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Professor Füsun Üstel

The İstanbul Regional Appeals Court on Sunday upheld the prison sentence of Professor Zübeyde Füsun Üstel, who signed a peace petition along with 1,128 other academics in 2016 calling on the Turkish government to halt military operations in the predominantly Kurdish southeastern region of the country, Bianet reported.

The İstanbul 32nd High Criminal Court previously handed down a one year, three month sentence to Professor Üstel for disseminating terrorist propaganda.

Twenty-seven other cases similar to Üstel’s are pending at regional appeals courts, and according to experts this case will set a precedent for them.

Turkish officials opened investigations into the signatories of the peace petition, and in 137 of the cases the academics were handed down prison sentences.

Turkey started military operations in the Southeast targeting Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorists, eventually causing the death of dozens of civilians and the destruction of some residential parts of the cities.

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