70-year-old illiterate woman gets 3 years for carrying placard during 2009 march

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Raife İnatçı, a 70-year-old illiterate woman from the southeastern Turkish province of Diyarbakır, was sent to jail due to a placard she carried during a march in 2009 that referred to jailed terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan, the Mezopotamya news agency reported on Friday.

An investigation was launched into İnatçı due to the placard she carried on which was written, “The youths are the bodyguards of Apo [a reference to Öcalan],” and the woman was subsequently detained.

She appeared at the Diyarbakır 6th High Criminal Court and at the end of the trial was handed down a jail sentence of 37 months, 15 days on charges of disseminating terrorist propaganda and committing a crime on behalf of a terrorist organization although not being a member of it.

İnatçı was sent to Diyarbakır Prison on Aug. 27 after her sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court of Appeals.

Family members of the woman say İnatçı has many health problems and that her condition could deteriorate in prison.

The PKK, which has been waging a bloody war in Turkey’s Southeast since 1984, is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU. Its leader Öcalan has been jailed in a prison on an island in the Sea of Marmara since 1999.

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