Reporters Without Borders welcomes today’s release of British journalists Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury but calls on Turkey’s judicial authorities to free the third detained VICE News employee, Mohammed Ismael Rasool, an experienced Iraqi journalist and translator based in Turkey.
“The release of the two Britons is a step in the right direction but leaving Rasool in detention is unacceptable,” said Johann Bihr, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk. “We urge the authorities to free Rasool as well and to abandon these absurd proceedings against the VICE News team.”
Arrested in Diyarbakir on 27 August, the three men were placed in pre-trial detention on 31 August on a charge of acting “on behalf of a terrorist organization” and were transferred yesterday to Adana high security prison, far from their lawyers.
The charges brought against the reporters seem to be entirely unfound, with so-called evidence constituting nothing more than normal journalistic activity which should not be criminalized.
Reporters Without Borders encourages the international community to show solidarity to Mohammed Ismael Rasool and use the hashtag #FreeRasool on Twitter.
(Photo: VICE News)