June 9, 2017

RSF welcomes detained French photographer’s release from Turkey

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) welcomes detained French press photographer Mathias Depardon’s release in Turkey. His deportation is currently under way.

It follows the visit he received yesterday at a detention centre in the southeastern city of Gaziantep from his mother, Danièle Van de Lanotte, RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire and French deputy consul Christophe Hemmings.

“We are deeply relieved for Mathias Depardon and his family,” Deloire said. “His detention was completely unjustified. A month was taken from his life for no reason, not to speak of the anxiety and uncertainty to which he was subjected. We thank all those who campaigned on his behalf, especially the support committee’s members. We also thank the French authorities, the Elysée Palace and the foreign ministry.”

Based in Turkey for the past five years, Depardon was arrested on 8 May while doing a report in the southeast of the country for National Geographic magazine.

RSF had put all of its energy and commitment into campaigning for his release for the past month.

Dozens of foreign journalists have been expelled in the past two years from Turkey, which is ranked 155th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index. Turkey is currently undergoing an unprecedented crackdown on its media in which more than 100 Turkish journalists are now detained.