Index on Censorship calls on Turkey to release two Vice journalists and a local colleague who have been formally charged with “working on behalf of a terrorist organisation”.
• Turkey releases two Vice News journalists, must free third
“Coming just days after the unjust sentencing of three Al Jazeera journalists in Egypt, these latest detentions of journalists simply for doing their jobs underlines the way in which governments everywhere can use terror legislation to prevent the media from operating,” said Index on Censorship chief executive Jodie Ginsberg.
The British journalists, Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury, were detained on Thursday with a colleague working as a fixer, Iraqi translator and journalist Mohammed Ismael Rasool, and their driver by anti-terrorism police while reporting from southeastern Turkey. On Monday, the three were formally charged and arrested. Their driver was released.
“Turkey is already one of the worst places in the world in terms of freedom of the media. We call on Turkey to release these Vice journalists and to ensure that all journalists reporting in the country can operate freely.”
Turkey has one of the world’s worse records on media freedom. Index on Censorship’s project, Mapping Media Freedom, has recorded 146 verified reports since May 2014.