“Freeing thousands of Kurdish activists from Turkish prisons could help a fledgling peace initiative to end a three-decade-old insurgency, Human Rights Watch said on Thursday.
Anti-terrorism laws have allowed Turkish courts to jail people engaged in non-violent action, especially those seeking greater Kurdish rights, New York-based HRW said in its 2013 World Report, which examined more than 90 countries.
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has led efforts in recent months to end the war with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which seeks autonomy for the country’s estimated 14 million ethnic Kurds.
Turkey, the United States and the European Union call the PKK a terrorist group. It took up arms in 1984, and more than 40,000 people, mainly Kurds, have since died.