Directors sentenced to 4 years, 6 months in prison over documentary

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Çayan Demirel (L) and Ertuğrul Mavioğlu

A Turkish court has handed down prison sentences of four years, six months to two film directors over a documentary they collaborated on, the Sendika63 news website reported on Thursday.

Directors Ertuğrul Mavioğlu and Çayan Demirel were convicted of spreading propaganda for terrorist groups in their documentary “Bakur.”

The defendants did not appear in court for the final hearing when their sentences were announced. The court also imposed a travel ban.

“These sentences handed down to those who produce films, those who write and those who seek the truth are aimed at ensuring others draw a lesson,” Mavioğlu tweeted. “Never draw a lesson, never lower your voice and never despair. We came through so much, of course we shall overcome this tyranny!”

The documentary was previously censored during a 1915 film festival in İstanbul.

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