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Three more Kurdish women jailed in Turkey after mass arrests

THREE more women were jailed today a week after more than 20 were detained in mass arrests targeting women’s organisations in Turkey’s largely Kurdish city of Diyarbakir.

Free Women’s Movement (TJA) activist Zelal Bilgin and Diyarbakir metropolitan municipality councillors Bahar Karakas Ulug and Rabia Tekas were jailed on charges of “membership of an illegal organisation.”

They were sent to Diyarbakir women’s closed prison, bringing the number jailed during the operation to 11.

Twenty-six women were detained during police raids on their homes last week. Arrest warrants have been issued for a total of 33 people, all of them high-profile women, including Jin News journalist Beritan Canozer, who was released on a control order last week. 

The Rosa Women’s Association was targeted again in the operation, a second in two years. Most of those detained were from the feminist organisation, which has previously been accused of having links to the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Spokeswoman Adalet Kaya said the group was being placed under “unlawful pressure” because of its activities, including protesting against Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

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