Dutch journalist detained in Turkey while reporting on Kurds

6th September 2015, Comments 0 comments

A Dutch journalist based in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast said Sunday she had been detained while covering the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) -- the second time she was arrested by Turkish authorities.

Frederike Geerdink wrote on her Twitter account that she had been detained in the Yuksekova district of Hakkari province and would be questioned by a prosecutor.

She said she was with a group of "human shields" at the time of her arrest and that the entire group had been taken into custody.

Dutch news agency ANP reported that Geerdink was detained while travelling with HDP members and cited her family as saying she was being held for entering a "forbidden zone".

The Dutch foreign ministry wrote on Twitter that the Dutch embassy in Ankara was following up on the case with Turkish authorities.

Geerdink, who moved to Turkey in 2006, writes mainly about the country's Kurdish population.

She was arrested earlier this year on charges of spreading "terrorist propaganda" for the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) but was acquitted of the charges in April.

There is growing concern about press freedom in Turkey, with journalists complaining of a squeeze on media critical of the government as Ankara wages a major offensive against Kurdish militants.

Turkish authorities on Thursday released two British reporters working for US-based media outlet Vice News, who were held on terror charges for a week.

Thomas Bruning, secretary-general of the Dutch Association of Journalists, accused Turkey of trying to muzzle the press.

"The importance of the freedom of the press does not seem to interest this country any more. The situation of Turkish media is worrying but now foreign journalists can also not do their work," he said.


© 2015 AFP

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