by Agence France-Presse
Turkey’s appeal court has overturned a 10-month suspended jail sentence for blasphemy against world-renowned pianist Fazil Say over Twitter posts deemed offensive to Islam.
The Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that his comments on social media should be regarded as “freedom of thought and expression and thus should not be punished,” the Hurriyet newspaper reported on Monday.
The four-to-one majority decision will be sent back to a lower court for a final ruling, which could see Say acquitted of the charges or face further judicial action.
Say, 45, who is a well-known atheist and harsh critic of the government, was handed the suspended sentence in April 2013 after being convicted of “insulting religious beliefs” in a series of Twitter posts the year before.
The pianist and composer, who has played with the philharmonic orchestras of Berlin, New York, Tokyo and Israel, appealed but a court upheld the sentence in September 2013 after a retrial.
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