Two British journalists and an Iraqi fixer working for Vice News have been charged by a Turkish judge in Diyarbakir of being members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant.
Jake Hanrahan, Philip Pendlebury and Mohamed Ismail Rasoul were arrested on Thursday in Diyarbakir while filming clashes between the security forces and youth members of the outlawed pro-Kurdish PKK.
All three will now stand trial for being members of a terrorist organisation and will be kept in jail until then. No date has been fixed for their appearance.
In response to the charges, Kevin Sutcliffe, VICE Head of News Programming for Europe, said the judge “has levelled baseless and alarmingly false charges of ‘working on behalf of a terrorist organization’ 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 southeastern 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.”