By Reuters Staff
A Turkish court sentenced two journalists to two years in jail for blasphemy on Thursday, their newspaper said, after they reprinted a controversial cover from the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo above their columns last year.
The judgement is likely to inflame concerns about freedom of expression in Turkey, where opposition newspapers have been seized and a number of journalists have been sued for insulting President Tayyip Erdogan.
Ceyda Karan and Hikmet Cetinkaya, columnists for Cumhuriyet daily, had faced jail terms of up to 4-1/2 years for “insulting religious values” after they reprinted the caricature of the Prophet Mohammad following the January 2015 attacks on Charlie Hebdo in Paris.
Muslim Turkey’s constitution strictly separates state and religion but its penal code makes it a crime to insult religion. For Muslims, any depiction of the Prophet is blasphemous.
“We will appeal (the ruling). We will not leave this country to fascists in Islam sauce,” Karan said on Twitter.
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