Turkey condemned after British journalists working for Vice News are charged with 'assisting Islamic State' - Press Gazette

Turkey condemned after British journalists working for Vice News are charged with 'assisting Islamic State'

Vice News has condemned the Turkish government after two of its British journalists were arrested and charged with "assisting Islamic State".

Freelance correspondent Jake Hanrahan and cameraman Philip Pendlebury were arrested while filming in the south-east region of Diyarbakir.

The pair were arrested along with a Turkish colleague, who has not been named, while filming clashes between police and youth members of the pro-Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) on Thursday.

They were charged on Monday, allegedly with "working on behalf of a terrorist organisation", and are due to stand trial in Turkey.

Vice News condemned the accusations as "baseless and false".

Kevin Sutcliffe, Vice head of news programming in Europe, said: "Today the Turkish government has levelled baseless and alarmingly false charges of 'working on behalf of a terrorist organisation' against three Vice News reporters, in an attempt to intimidate and censor their coverage.

"Prior to being unjustly detained, these journalists were reporting and documenting the situation in the south-eastern Turkish province of Diyarbakir.

"Vice News condemns in the strongest possible terms the Turkish government's attempts to silence our reporters who have been providing vital coverage from the region.

"We continue to work with all relevant authorities to expedite the safe release of our three colleagues and friends."

Amnesty International has called for the immediate release of all three journalists.

Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International's Turkey Researcher, said: "This is yet another example of the Turkish authorities suppressing the reporting of stories that are embarrassing to them. They should release the journalists immediately.

"It is completely proper that journalists should cover this important story.

"The decision to detain the journalists was wrong, while the allegation of assisting Islamic State is unsubstantiated, outrageous and bizarre."

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "We are providing consular assistance and are in touch with the relevant authorities following the arrest of two British nationals in Diyarbakir."



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