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French student goes on trial in Turkey on terrorism charges

26/09/12 16:13 CET

Human rights groups are demanding that Turkey revise its anti-terrorism laws after a teenager was arrested at a Labour Day rally and now faces 32 years in jail.

Sevil Sevimli who was born in France to Turkish Kurd parents has been detained since May when she attended the workers’ parade in Istanbul.

Along with five others, the 20-year-old is accused of links to a far-left extremist group.

The Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front has been behind several attacks in Turkey since the 1970s. The group is listed as a terrorist organisation by the EU and US.

But human rights campaigners say Turkish prosecutors have over-reacted and that Sevimli was simply demonstrating in favour of free education in Turkey.

Campaigners have called for terror laws to be modified and for sentences to be reduced.

Sevimli’s case has sparked a surge of solidarity within France with supporters calling for her immediate release.

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