Three Vice News journalists detained in Turkey and charged with aiding an unnamed terrorist organization were transferred to a prison five hours away from their lawyers and the court where they have appeared.
British journalists Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury and their Turkey-based Iraqi translator Mohammed Ismael Rasool were charged on Monday with “knowingly and willfully helping the armed terrorist organization without being a part of its hierarchical structure,” Turkey’s Anadolu news agency reported.
“This move appears to be a blatant obstruction of the fair legal process that Turkey has repeatedly pledged to uphold,” Kevin Sutcliffe, VICE’s Head of News Programming in Europe, said.
“We call on the Turkish government to throw out these ridiculous charges and immediately release our colleagues.”
The three journalists were taken into custody on Thursday in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir.
Their driver was also taken into custody but was released on Monday.
“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 said on Monday. “We continue to work with all relevant authorities to expedite the safe release of our three colleagues and friends.”