Dutch journalist detained for second time in Turkey

AP News
Posted: Sep 06, 2015 10:54 AM

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A Dutch journalist said Sunday she was detained by police in a town in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast region, where scores of people have died in renewed fighting between security forces and Kurdish rebels.

Frederike Geerdink said on her Twitter account that she was detained in the town of Yuksekova along with a group of "human shield" protesters who were attempting to stop the violence there. Geerdink said she would be questioned by a prosecutor.

A government official confirmed that she had been detained along with 19 other people for illegally entering a restricted zone and taking part in the protest. The official also said that members of the group were taken away for their own protection.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government rules barring officials from speaking to reporters without prior authorization, added that an investigation was ongoing.

It was the second time that the freelance journalist, who reports mainly on Kurdish issues, has been taken into custody in Turkey. She was briefly detained in January and was acquitted of charges of engaging in propaganda on behalf of the Kurdish rebels in April.

This week, a Turkish court released from jail two British Vice News journalists who were arrested on terror-related charges while reporting from Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey's mainly Kurdish region. Their Turkey-based assistant, Mohammed Ismael Rasool, remains jailed pending the conclusion of an investigation.

Vice News said Sunday that the two journalists— correspondent Jake Hanrahan and cameraman Philip Pendlebury — have returned to Britain and were in "good health and spirits."

In a statement, Vice News said however, that the company and the two journalists "remain extremely concerned" for Rasool.

Their arrests prompted strong protests from media rights advocates, the U.S. and the European Union and highlighted Turkey's poor record on media freedoms.