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Turkish Politician Freed From Jail After Swedish Exile

Published måndag 18 oktober 2004 kl 10.18

A Kurdish politician who’d been exiled in Sweden for nearly a decade has been released from police custody in Turkey where he’d been arrested on his return to the country.

Mehdi Zana, who’s the husband of Kurdish activist Leyla Zana, was detained on Friday while going through passport control at Istanbul airport. He’s accused of being a member of the Kurdistan workers party, which has fought a bloody 15 year campaign for self-rule in the mainly Kurdish South-East of Turkey.

A Judge on Saturday ruled to free him on the grounds that charges levelled against him in the past had ceased to constitute an offense under the democracy reforms that Turkey has recently passed to boost its bid to join the EU.

Zana went into exile in Sweden in 1995 after he was released from prison in Turkey where he’d served ten years of a 16 year sentence because of his poltical views.

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