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Two Vice News journalists who were arrested in Turkey on terror-related charges have been released from prison. Their assistant remains in custody.
The two British journalists, correspondent Jake Hanrahan and cameraman Philip Pendlebury, and their Turkey-based assistant were detained last week in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s mostly Kurdish southeast, where renewed fighting has killed scores of people.
“While we are grateful that they have been freed, we are deeply worried by reports that our other Vice News colleague, Mohammed Ismael Rasool, has had his appeal of release rejected by the Turkish government,” said Vice in a statement.
“Rasool is an experienced journalist and translator who has worked extensively across the Middle East with VICE News, Associated Press, and Al Jazeera. We call on the Turkish authorities for a swift end to this unjust detainment and to grant his immediate release.”
A court ordered the three formally arrested late on Monday on charges of aiding a terror organization. All three have rejected the accusation.
The three were detained after filming in an area of Diyarbakir where Kurdish youths frequently clash with security forces.
Their arrests have prompted strong protests from media rights advocates, the U.S. and the European Union.
Vice News is a New York-based news channel that produces documentaries, breaking news reports and investigative pieces.
The arrests come amid a surge in government crackdowns on media freedoms in Turkey. Authorities frequently use vague anti-terrorism or libel laws to prosecute journalists, although international journalists have rarely been prosecuted in recent years. Several prominent Turkish journalists have been fired under government pressure, while access to websites is frequently blocked.
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