Lyon university professor accused of terrorist propaganda released pending trial

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Ahmet Tuna Altınel, a Turkish mathematician from France's Lyon University

Tuna Altınel, a Lyon University professor of mathematics who was accused of disseminating terrorist propaganda, was released pending trial on Tuesday by a court in Balıkesir after 81 days in pretrial detention, the gazetekarınca news website reported.

Altınel was among hundreds of academics who signed a petition in 2016 calling on the Turkish government to stop military operations that caused civilian deaths and partial destruction of residential areas in the predominantly Kurdish southeastern region.

After brief peace talks in 2015 with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorist group, the Turkish government halted the negotiations and launched military operations in the region.

Turkish authorities considered the petition to be terrorist propaganda, and many of its signatories have been dismissed from their positions, sentenced to prison or face an overseas travel ban.

Altınel was also accused of spreading the propaganda of the PKK at a conference in Paris in February.

The next hearing will be held on Oct. 19.

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