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Turkey arrests VoA reporter over pending prison sentence

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Arif Aslan, the Voice of America (VoA) correspondent in Turkey’s eastern Van province, was arrested on Tuesday morning to serve a prison sentence he had previously received, the Evrensel newspaper reported.

The arrest was announced by the local police department, which said Aslan had been handed down a prison sentence of three years, one month, without providing further details.

Over the past few years Turkey has imprisoned many journalists, both Turkish and foreign, over their reports on the country’s predominantly Kurdish Southeast, which has seen an escalation of ethnic violence since the breakdown of the government’s peace talks with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the summer of 2015.

One of the leading jailers of journalists in the world, Turkey was ranked 154th out of 180 countries in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index, published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

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