ONE DEAD – KURDISH RIOTS IN DIYARBAKIR

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A student was shot dead Sunday during clashes between Turkish police and demonstrators protesting at the prison treatment of the founder of outlawed PKK party, sources said.

An estimated 15,000 protesters marched in the city of Diyarbakir in the majority Kurdish southeast in support of jailed rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan, who founded the Kurdistan People’s Party.

Clashes erupted when some demonstrators threw stones and fireworks at riot police who tried to block the march, an AFP correspondent on the scene reported.

Riot police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse the crowd. A 23-year-old student protester died from a bullet wound and two other people including a police officer were injured, according to local sources.

Security sources said in total one person was killed, three injured and 113 arrested across the region on Sunday.

The demonstration was called by the Kurdish Democratic Society Party to support Ocalan’s claims of poor treatment at the Imrali island prison, where he has been serving a life sentence since 1999.

Turkey’s justice ministry published photos on Friday to show that Ocalan’s jail conditions were the same as those of other inmates in high-security prisons and said they met international standards. More demonstrations took place on Saturday in the southeastern town of Yuksekova where a 19-year-old suffered a serious head injury from a teargas grenade during clashes with police, and one officer was also injured, according to local security sources.

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