Two Vice News journalists have been released from a Turkish prison while their assistant remains detained.
Correspondent Jake Hanrahan and cameraman Philip Pendlebury, who along with their driver and fixer were detained a week ago on charges of aiding an unnamed terrorist organization, were freed. Their assistant, Mohammed Ismael Rasool, had his appeal rejected and remains imprisoned.
“VICE News has received confirmation from the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office that two of our journalists, Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury have been released from a Turkish prison,” the network said.
“While we are grateful that they have been freed, we are deeply worried by reports that our other VICE News colleague, Mohammed Ismael Rasool, has had his appeal of release rejected by the Turkish government,” the network continued.
Vice News is calling on Turkish authorities t0 provide a “swift end to this unjust detainment and to grant his immediate release.”
After the journalists’ release, Vice founder Shane Smith posted a Thank You note on VICE.com, decrying the practice of locking up press and urging the release of Rasool.
“It’s nothing new that political actors would try to shut down this kind of reporting, but over the past few years it’s become a widespread and disturbing trend,” said Smith. “We should all be able to agree that a probing, independent press is a force for good, even when — actually, especially when — it’s making a powerful person feel uncomfortable.”