BEIRUT

Middle East

France-Turkey student sentenced on terrorism charges

FILE - A picture taken on November 19, 2012 shows French-Turkish university student Sevil Sevimli (C) leaving the courthouse after her trial. (AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC)

ANKARA: A court in Turkey on Friday sentenced a French-Turkish student to more than five years in prison for "terrorist propaganda" but allowed her to return to France pending an appeal, her lawyer said.

The lawyer, Inayet Aksu, said the court in the northwestern city of Bursa had sentenced Sevil Sevimli, 21, to five years and two months in prison but freed her until her planned appeal and did not require that she stay in Turkey.

The exchange student was arrested after joining a May Day parade in Istanbul and went on trial in September on charges that risked up to 32 years in prison.

Aksu said that while she was initially accused of belonging to a terrorist organisation, she was only found guilty of disseminating propaganda on behalf of an outlawed group.

Sevimli, who was detained for three months before her release under court supervision in August, is accused of links to the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C).

The far-left extremist group is listed as a terrorist organisation by the United States and the European Union. It claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing at the US embassy in Ankara this month that killed a Turkish security guard.

Since 1976, the DHKP-C has been behind numerous attacks against the Turkish state that have killed dozens.

Born in France to Turkish Kurd parents, Sevimli was completing a final year of studies in Turkey under Erasmus, the inter-European university exchange scheme, at the time of her arrest.

 

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