Two Vice News journalists freed in Turkey back in UK

The network calls for the release of their third colleague Mohammed Ismael Rasool who remains in prison.

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VICE News said it worked around the clock to secure Rasool's release [Vice News]

Two journalists of VICE News, who were recently released from a Turkish prison, have returned to the UK, while their translator remains in prison, the US-based network has said.

Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury, along with their translator Mohammed Ismael Rasool and a driver, were taken into custody in front of their hotel in Diyarbakir last month following an anonymous tip to the police.

At a court hearing on Monday in the same province, the three were accused of “deliberately aiding an armed organisation,” as the demand for their release was denied. The driver was released without charge.

“Both are in good health and spirits, but they – and everyone else at VICE News – remain extremely concerned for our third colleague, Mohammed Ismael Rasool, who is still being held,” the statement on Sunday said.

VICE News said that the network continued to work around the clock with all relevant government and legal representatives to secure his release.

“We call on the Turkish authorities to continue their positive course of action in freeing Jake and Philip, and releasing Rasool immediately.”

The Turkish court, which imprisoned the journalists, has alleged that Rasool had encrypted hard drives protected by passwords on his computer, a claim denied by the translator, according to his lawyer.

Independent experts will decide on the legitimacy of the court allegations that whether Rasool was using encryption software or not, lawyer Ahmet Ay told Al Jazeera.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office released a statement on Thursday afternoon saying the British journalists had been transferred to a deportation centre to be deported from the country.

In a separate development, a Dutch journalist and author who writes about Turkey’s Kurdish issue tweeted that she was taken into custody and was being questioned on Sunday, the second time this year she has fallen foul of the Turkish authorities.

“I’m in custody in Yuksekova,” Frederike Geerdink said via her Twitter account. She had been travelling with a Kurdish protest group whose members were all also taken into custody, she wrote.

It was not clear whether she was charged or what she was charged with if so.

Source: News Agencies