Trump urges Erdogan to free imprisoned US pastor

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Washington, July 19 (IANS) US President Donald Trump has urged his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan to release an American Protestant pastor accused of terrorism activities in the country.

“A total disgrace that Turkey will not release respected US Pastor Andrew Brunson from prison. He has been held hostage far too long. Erdogan should do something to free this wonderful Christian husband and father. He has done nothing wrong and his family needs him!” Trump tweeted on Wednesday.

The Turkish prosecution has demanded 35 years imprisonment for Brunson for his association with terrorist groups.

Brunson was accused of having connections with a movement led by cleric Fethullah Gulen — who Turkey accuses of instigating the failed coup of 2016 and is living in exile in the US — as well as having links to the banned Kurdish Workers Party. He denies the charges.

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