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Turkish activist gets jail sentence

Human rights activist Eren Keskin has been sentenced to six months and 20 days in prison after being convicted of “denigrating the Turkish army”. The conviction comes under Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code, which Amnesty International has long campaigned against. Eren Keskin's sentence can be converted into a fine of 4,000 Turkish Liras (US$3,250) but she has refused to pay it. Instead, she is appealing the verdict. Should she be imprisoned, Amnesty International would consider her to be a prisoner of conscience. Amnesty International has campaigned for the abolition of Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code on the grounds that it is an unnecessary restriction of the right to freedom of expression. Yet a steady flow of cases continue to be opened under it. Eren Keskin’s conviction follows an interview she gave to the German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel in 2006, in which she stated that the army had undue influence on politics, the judiciary and state institutions.