Last week, Turkish aurthorities arrested three VICE news journalists on foggy charges of aiding terrorism. To the increasing ire of the British government and the news agency, reports emerged this week the trio had been moved to a high security prison five hours from their legal representation, according to the Guardian.
The arrests unfolded last Thursday, when Britons Philip Pendlebury, Jake Hanrahan and their fixer Mohammed Ismael Rasool were in the Turkish province of Diyarbakir reporting on the escalating tensions between the Turkish government and the outlawed Kurdish rebel group, Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Now Turkey's charging all three with "aiding a terrorist organization."
Turkey's claims are problematic for several reasons. The charges accuse the journalists of working for both Daesh (ISIS) and the PKK, both of which the Turkish government classifies as terrorist organizations. As the VICE head of news in Europe Kevin Sutcliffe notes, this is already ridiculous, since the PKK and Daesh are currently fighting each other.
He goes on:
This move appears to be a blatant obstruction of the fair legal process that Turkey has repeatedly pledged to uphold. We call on the Turkish government to throw out these ridiculous charges and immediately release our colleagues."
The British government has also stepped up pressure on Turkey over the detainment, but so far nothing concrete has happened. Then on Wednesday, a senior Turkish official released a statement explaining the arrests. Read it here. Via Twitter.
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