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Former Miss Turkey gets 14-month jail for insulting President on Instagram

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ANKARA — A court has indicted a former Miss Turkey of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan through social media postings and gave her a 14-month suspended sentence on Tuesday, amid deepening concerns that the country is swaying toward an increasingly authoritarian form of rule.

The court in Istanbul found 27-year-old model Merve Buyuksarac guilty of insulting a public official but immediately suspended the sentence on condition that she does not reoffend within the next five years.

Her lawyer, Emre Telci, said he would file a formal objection to the verdict and appeal her case at the Strasbourg, France-based European Court of Justice.

Buyuksarac, who was crowned Miss Turkey in 2006, was briefly detained last year for sharing a satirical poem on her Instagram account in 2014.

Prosecutors deemed it to be insulting to Erdogan, who was still prime minister at the time. She has denied insulting Erdogan.

Since becoming president in 2014, Erdogan has filed close to 2,000 defamation cases under a previously seldom-used law that bars insulting the president.

Free speech advocates say the law is being used aggressively to silence and intimidate critics.

The trials have targeted journalists, academics and even schoolchildren.

AP

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Nirmala Panta rape, murder case : Locals protest after wrong suspect paraded

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BHIMDUTTANAGAR — Locals who were protesting against the rape and murder of Nirmala Panta of Kanchanpur’s Bhimdatta Municipality, have enforced shutdown in Bhimduttanagar Bazaar on Tuesday, protesting police’s failure to reveal facts behind the murder of 13-year-old girl and parading wrong suspect on Monday.

The District Police Office, organising a press conference on Monday,had made public Dilip Singh Bista (41), of Baghphanta, Bhimdatta Municipality-19 as Nirmala’s murderer.

Locals have shut down the market area stating that police were not being able to make public the true murderer(s) as they are not convinced by the findings of police citing that Bista was mentally unsound, according to the District Police Office.

Transportation has also been halted.

Bista, a resident of Khanna Chauraha area in Bhimdutta Municipality-19, was apprehended near the scene of crime on Sunday, according to police.

Police making public the wrong suspect has infuriated the locals and fueled the protest.

The agitators including various civil society organisations and human rights defenders have been picketing the District Administration Office and staging rally on the street mounting pressure on the police to reveal the facts behind the heinous crime.

Meanwhile, it had been learnt that police have fired rounds of teargas shells to contain the agitated mob.

Nirmala was found murdered in a sugarcane field on July 27, a day after she had gone to her friend’s home to get a notebook.

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