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Turkish journalist convicted but freed over Erdogan insult

March 11, 2022 GMT

ISTANBUL (AP) — A well-known Turkish journalist was released from prison Friday despite being convicted of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, her lawyer said.

Sedef Kabas was sentenced to two years and four months at the first hearing in Istanbul but was released after spending nearly seven weeks in prison. She is expected to appeal her conviction.

The case highlighted the use of a law under which tens of thousands of people have been prosecuted since Erdogan became president in 2014 following more than a decade as prime minister. The offense carries a maximum four-year prison term.

The journalist, who has hosted a series of high-profile TV shows over a career spanning three decades, was arrested after she cited a proverb on television and social media referring to an ox.

Turkey has come under international pressure to change the insult law. In October, the European Court of Human Rights said a man’s freedom of expression was violated when he was detained in 2017 under the insult law.