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    Turkish riot police officers block the crowd as they shout slogans on December 31, 2015 in Diyarbakir, during a demonstration after a curfew was lifted from the city

    Biden: Turkey Setting Wrong Example With Policies on Freedom of Expression

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    US Vice President Joe Biden on Friday slammed Turkey’s policies on freedom of expression, saying that Ankara does not set a good example by detaining those who speak out, media reported.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the CNN broadcaster, during a trip to Turkey, Biden accused the country’s authorities of intimidation of media and curtailing internet freedom. He also reportedly slammed Ankara’s treason accusations against academics who signed a petition to end violence in southeastern Turkey.

    On January 11, over 1,000 academics from nearly 90 Turkish and foreign universities signed a petition entitled “We will not be party to this crime,” calling for the country’s authorities to stop military actions against Kurdish militants.

    Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called those who signed the petition the "fifth column" for terrorists.

    A prominent watchdog Amnesty International said that 19 academics had been detained, but later reports put the number arrested at 27. The watchdog said that Turkey’s detention of the professors who signed the petition represented a new assault on freedom of expression in the country.

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