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Switzerland intervenes in Turkey over prison conditions

Anti-Turkish protestors briefly occupied the Swiss parliament in Bern on Tuesday


The Swiss foreign ministry has asked the Turkish authorities to explain their prison policy. The move comes as Kurds continue to demonstrate around Europe against Turkey's crackdown to end prison protests.

A senior Swiss diplomat intervened at the foreign ministry in Ankara on Thursday. He asked the authorities to clarify their position, particularly on Kurdish inmates.

Officials in Bern said the diplomat was given a response by the Turkish authorities, but no further details were revealed.

The diplomatic intervention follows a series of protests in Switzerland by mainly Kurdish activists.

On Tuesday, a group barricaded itself in the Swiss parliament, but agreed to leave the building after receiving pledges that the Swiss embassy would intervene in Ankara.

In the latest protests, about 350 people staged anti-Turkish demonstrations outside United Nations buildings in Geneva and in the town of Bellinzona in canton Ticino. The protests passed off peacefully.

The demonstrators called for an immediate halt to Turkish police operations to put down protests, including hunger strikes, in Turkish jails. Officials said more than 20 people have died in the clashes.

swissinfo with agencies

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