Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is extremely concerned about Mathias Depardon , a French photographer held for the past two weeks in Turkey and now on a hunger strike, and reiterates its call for his immediate release.
Based in Turkey for the past five years, Depardon was arrested on 8 May while reporting in the southeast of the country for National Geographic magazine. Although an order for his deportation was issued on 11 May, he is still being held at a detention centre in Gaziantep, a city near the Syrian border.
RSF has learned from his lawyer, Emine Şeker, that he began a hunger strike on 21 May.
“The ordeal to which Mathias Depardon is being subjected is unacceptable and has lasted for too long,” said Johann Bihr, the head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk. “The Turkish authorities, who are responsible for his safety, must end this grotesque situation. We again urge the French government to intervene firmly to protect this photographer and obtain his release.”
RSF, two other media freedom organizations and 19 media outlets sent a joint letter to Turkish interior minister Süleyman Soylu on 19 May calling for Depardon’s immediate release.
Turkey is ranked 155th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index.