JournalismPakistan.com September 01, 2015
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) Tuesday backed their affiliate in Great Britain and Ireland, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), in urging the Turkish authorities to immediately release British journalists Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury.
The reporters, who work for US-based media outlet Vice News, were accused of terror charges following their arrest last week in Diyarbakir province of Turkey on allegations of connection with the so-called Islamic State (IS).
“Our colleagues who are currently detained in Turkey must be released immediately and unconditionally. They are not terrorists – they are journalists and should not be treated as criminals,” said NUJ general secretary, Michelle Stanistreet. "The NUJ continues to be alarmed at the scale of attacks against press freedom in Turkey - a member of the Council of Europe and the government should abide by article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights on freedom of expression”. One of the detained journalists is an NUJ member, the union said.
The two organizations suspect the authorities are seeking to intimidate journalists who are covering the current clampdown on pro-Kurdish militants, following the recent escalation in violent attacks in the country.
“The charges against our British colleagues working for Vice News are unsubstantiated as it makes no sense why professional journalists would collude with terrorist organisations and the authorities have not shown any evidence so far to suggest the alleged connection with the IS,” said IFJ President, Jim Boumelha. “These arrests are more about the government’s ploy to muzzle journalists covering annoying issues. Their detention is unwarranted and we call for their immediate release so they can continue reporting on the ground with no intimidation, nor undue interference.” - IFJ Media Release
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