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RIGHTS > Students face two-year jail sentence for throwing darts at Turkish PM’s photo

SAMSUN - Doğan News Agency

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A local prosecutor has demanded two years in jail for two Samsun university students for allegedly throwing darts at a board covered with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's photo.

Yıldırım Beyazıt Besim and Mert Deniz Özkaya, students at the Black Sea province’s Ondokuz Mayıs University, participated in a protest against new educational reforms last year in August by throwing darts at a dart board featuring Erdoğan’s picture. After the two threw the darts, police forces intervened to prevent others from doing so.
 
After a probe was launched into the incident, the two were charged with “overt defamation of a public official.”

"No kinds of opposition are tolerated in Turkey," Besim said, adding that their act was a democratic demand, not defamation.

Similar protests have been held in different parts of Turkey, he said.

The students’ first hearing will be held in June.

March/13/2013

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