Turkey amends anti-terror laws to protect rights

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Associated Press

Posted on April 11, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 11 at 2:03 PM

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The Turkish parliament has approved changes to anti-terrorism laws to reduce the number of prosecutions for the non-violent expression of opinions, but critics say the revisions don't go far enough.

Turkey has prosecuted hundreds of politicians, activists and journalists under its broadly worded anti-terrorism laws, some for simply expressing opinions or taking part in protests. The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders has described the country as the "world's biggest prison for journalists."

The government-proposed changes, approved by a show of hands Thursday, narrow the definition of what constitutes terrorist propaganda so that only people who openly promote violence can be jailed. But other restrictions on freedom of expression remain, and human rights advocates and opposition parties say the effort is a missed chance for reform.

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