Three journalists who work with media outlet VICE News have allegedly been charged with “aiding a terrorist organisation” by a court in Turkey, reports The Guardian.
The trio includes UK correspondent, Jake Hanrahan and cameraman Philip Pendlebury, and a Turkey-based fixer and a driver. The three were arrested last Thursday and taken into police custody. The driver has since been released.
In a statement on Monday, VICE’s head of news and programming in Europe, Kevin Sutcliffe, condemned the detention of the journalists.
“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,” he said.
“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,” Sutcliffe added. “We continue to work with all relevant authorities to expedite the safe release of our three colleagues and friends.”
Amnesty International has also released a statement, saying the journalists must be released.
“Three journalists working for VICE News who have been detained in Turkey should be released immediately unless the authorities can demonstrate credible evidence of criminal acts.”
No trial dates have been set yet, with The Guardian reporting it’s not clear which terrorist organisation the journalists were allegedly aiding.