World

Turkish court frees 7 newspaper staff, keeps 6 in jail

A court in Istanbul has decided to release seven journalists and staff of an opposition newspaper pending the outcome of their trial.

The court on Friday ruled, however, that five other employees of Cumhuriyet newspaper, which is staunchly opposed to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, remain jailed until the end of the trial. They include the paper's chief editor and a prominent columnist.

A total of 17 defendants are on trial accused of aiding terror organizations in a case that has added to concerns over rights, freedoms and judiciary independence in Turkey. Two other defendants are being tried in absentia.

Their arrests are part of a widespread crackdown in the wake of a failed coup attempt last year, which has led to the imprisonment of more than 50,000 people.