Turkey frees Banksy-backed Kurdish journalist Zehra Dogan

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Turkey conditionally freed Kurdish writer and artist Zehra Dogan on Sunday after more than two years in jail for “terrorist propaganda”, her employer said.

Dogan’s case has won the public backing of street artist Banksy since she was sentenced to almost three years in 2017 for her tableau in the mainly Kurdish southeastern town of Nusaybin depicting ravages by state security forces.

The city has been the site of clashes between the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), blacklisted as a terror group by Ankara and its Western allies, and the Turkish military.

Dogan’s release was reported by feminist, pro-Kurdish news agency Jinnews, for whom she worked prior to detention.

“I shall continue to do my work,” she insisted in a video posted to social media for Jinnews, which Ankara has several times tried to close down.

British graffiti artist Banksy highlighted Dogan’s situation last year when she featured in a mural in Manhattan, portraying her in a cell alongside crossed out bars representing days spent in custody.

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NGOs have repeatedly slammed what they term increasing erosion of press freedoms in Turkey since the abortive 2016 coup.

Reporters Without Borders recently placed the country 157th out of 180 on its world press freedom index.

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