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Turkish scientist gets 15 months for revealing secret documents on public health

A Turkish court on Thursday handed down a 15-month prison sentence to Bülent Şık, a scientist and columnist, who was accused of revealing secret documents in a social health project conducted by Turkey’s Health Ministry on the connection between the waste produced by industrial sites in the Marmara region and the increasing number of cancer victims living there, the Bianet news website reported.

In April 2018 the Cumhuriyet daily published four articles written by Şık exposing documents indicating that several chemical compounds that leaked from the factories had caused cancer in the communities living in Kocaeli’s Dilovası district and other locations on the Ergene River.

“Not publishing the documents would be the real crime,” Tora Pekin, a lawyer for Şık, said during the final hearing.

Şık’s lawyers will appeal the court’s ruling.

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