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Kurdish journalist Baysal briefly detained on accusations of terrorism

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Nurcan Baysal, a Kurdish journalist and human rights activist, was briefly detained on Monday on accusations of membership in a terrorist organization, Turkish media reports said.

Baysal was detained due to her participation in a Democratic Society Congress (DTK) meeting in the southeastern Turkish province of Diyarbakır in 2012. The journalist was released after testifying to prosecutors.

In a message from her Twitter account she said: “I am free, I have just been released from detention. Thanks to everyone who called me to extend their support. When I get home, I will write about the details of the cause of my detention.”

Baysal, who writes for the Ahval news website, was also detained in January 2018 for posting tweets critical of an ongoing Turkish military operation in the Afrin region of Syria. She faces three years in prison due to her criticism of the Afrin operation.

In May 2018 the journalist, who has been documenting the human cost of the return to conflict in Turkey’s Southeast, was named by the Irish human rights organization Front Line Defenders as its Global Laureate for Human Rights Defenders at Risk for 2018.

Turkey has been the largest jailer of journalists in the world, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), for three years in a row, incarcerating nearly 200 reporters, media workers and columnists after a failed coup attempt in July 2016.

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