Turkish journalist arrested in Italy, seeks political asylum
MILAN - Doğan News Agency
Seda Aktepe had been sentenced to three years in prison for “not being a member of an organization but committing crimes in the name of it” for her alleged connections to the illegal Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLPK). DHA photoA Turkish journalist wanted by Interpol has been arrested in Italy during a vacation, and asked for political asylum in the country, Doğan news agency reported.
Seda Aktepe had been sentenced to three years in prison for “not being a member of an organization but committing crimes in the name of it” for her alleged connections to the illegal Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLPK). Aktepe had then fled the country and settled in Switzerland in 2010, where she was granted permission for political residency in February of 2013.
Interpol had placed Aktepe’s name on its red notice list. The forces caught up with her during her vacation in Italy’s Tuscany when she checked into a hotel in Castiglioncello, and Aktepe was arrested on the spot. She was later taken to court.
Aktepe’s lawyers presented her residency documents from Switzerland, and asked for political asylum from the Italian authorities. The legal situation is expected to be settled in the next five days, Doğan news agency reported.
Aktepe, 28, had been the focus of ongoing campaigns in Switzerland, France and Italy in her favor, with supporters claiming she would be at risk of suffering possible bad treatment and torture if she were to return to Turkey.
Aktepe was put on trial on charges of being a member of the MLKP during a protest in 2004. She was under arrest for over eight months. She was cleared by the court of membership accusations, but was sentenced to over six years in prison for allegedly committing crimes in the name of the illegal organization. Her sentence was later on reduced to three years and one month.