Story By: James King, Sub-Editor: Darko Manevski, Agency: Clipzilla
Turkish police have arrested four journalists for reporting that two Kurdish men were allegedly thrown out of a military helicopter.
The homes of the four journalists in the eastern Turkish province of Van were raided by the authorities on 6th October.
The detainees include Mesopotamia News Agency reporters Adnan Bilen and Cemil Ugur, Jinnews reporter Sehriban Abi, and journalist Nazan Sala.
The police, who rummaged through the journalists’ houses during the raids, reportedly seized cameras and digital equipment.
Detained journalist Cemil Ugur alleged that Kurdish men Servet Turgut and Osman Siban were arrested in the district of Catak last month before being thrown from a military helicopter, a claim supported by hospital reports and witness statements.
Turgut, who battled for life in intensive care for 20 days after the alleged incident, eventually succumbed to his injuries in hospital.
The Van authorities reportedly banned publication of the incident.
A spokesperson for the Journalists Union of Turkey, Mahmut Oral, said: “The incident involving citizens being thrown from a helicopter has damaged public trust so they raided the homes of the journalists who uncovered the facts and arrested them. We find this unacceptable.”
A Journalists Association (DFG) spokesperson said that the government is directly targeting journalists in the country, adding: “Journalism is not a profession that can be controlled, journalists are not government officials.”
The investigation continues.
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