Turkish court releases imprisoned Grup Yorum musician on death fast

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İbrahim Gökçek after being released from prison

İbrahim Gökçek, a jailed Turkish musician and a member of the leftist Grup Yorum band who has been on a death fast since Jan. 3, was released by a court from pretrial detention on Monday after a forensic report advised against his imprisonment for reasons of health, the Cumhuriyet newspaper reported.

The band announced the decision on Twitter.

Gökçek is one of the members of the band who have been standing trial on accusations of membership in a terrorist organization.

Some of them recently went on a hunger strike in prison, demanding freedom for the group’s members and an end to bans on its concerts.

Gökçek recently gave an interview to Cumhuriyet in which he asked for an end to political pressures on the band as a condition to ending the death fast.

“We have given free concerts for people. We have been the voice of the poor, the miners and the workers. We have been put on terror lists for that,” Gökçek told Cumhuriyet in the interview.

When asked what his demands were, the jailed musician said: “First, I would like to be released. They should stop raiding our cultural centers and lift the ban on our concerts. They should revoke the prison sentences handed down to us and remove our name from terror lists.”

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