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Turkish activists charged over protests

March 17, 2014

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey’s state-run news agency says a prosecutor in Istanbul has charged five prominent activists involved in last year’s anti-government protests with forming a criminal gang, staging illegal demonstrations and public provocation. They face maximum 13 years in prison if convicted.

The Anadolu Agency said Monday 21 other people face three-year prison terms for violating laws on protests. Trial was set for June 12.

Those charged are members of a solidarity group that opposed government plans to demolish an Istanbul park to construct a shopping mall, and include Ali Cerkezoglu, the head of Istanbul’s medical association.

An Associated Press report in January revealed that authorities had assaulted doctors with tear gas, pressured them to reveal names of patients and ignored calls for more resources during the protests.

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