Published On: Wed, Sep 2nd, 2015

Two British Vice News journalists charged with terrorism in Turkey

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A Turkish court decided on Monday to detain two British journalists, the Deputy Information News Channel, arrested last week. The reporters are accused of terrorist activities.

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Two British journalists and their Iraqi translator, arrested last week in south-eastern Turkey, will be held in detention, according to the decision of a Turkish court Monday, August 31.

The two collaborators Vice News are accused of “participating in terrorist activities” on behalf of the organization Islamic State .

The three men were taken to a prison in Diyarbakir, a city in mainly Kurdish southeast of the country, pending trial. No details of their alleged links to the EI has filtered. A fourth suspect, the band’s chauffeur, was released.

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According to reports, the police arrested the journalists after being informed of their presence in the region, shaken by violence between Turkish security forces and Kurdish rebels, and confiscated the pictures they had taken. Journalists have dismissed the charges against them, in the presence of their lawyers.

Deputy News, a news channel on the Internet with headquarters in the United States, identified the two journalists as Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury.

The chain said in a statement that, according to some sources, they were arrested for filming without government permission, but they were subsequently accused of supporting the so-called Islamic State. Vice News spokesman added that journalists were facing baseless charges of terrorism.

The reporters had gone to the southeast of Turkey, a region rocked by violence since that Ankara late July triggered a ‘war against terrorism to the EI group, but above all against the Turkish Kurdish guerrillas of the Party Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Amnesty International called for the release immediate reporters, calling the accusations against them of outrageous and bizarre. This is another example of how the Turkish authorities suppress information that embarrass them, said Andrew Gardner, Turkey researcher at Amnesty International.

The arrest of journalists comes amid growing concern for freedom of the press in Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, where journalists are especially targeted by legal proceedings for insulting accusations against the government.

The authorities should protect journalists who do their work instead of the gag, said Nina Orgianova, the Committee to Protect Journalists.

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