German journalist arrested on Greek-Turkish border

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A German journalist was arrested in Greece on Friday after being caught in a restricted military area on the border with Turkey, Greek police said.

The 46-year-old, who was released pending trial, was caught by a Greek patrol in the northeastern Evros region, driving a car on the land border with Turkey where access is only allowed by special permit, the police statement said.

A camera containing footage was confiscated, they added without elaborating.

"A police investigation found that the journalist had not followed the prescribed rules of access and media coverage for which special permission from the Greek authorities is required," the police said.

The police statement did not immediately name the journalist's employer.

But a police source identified him as Jorg Heuer, who told officers that he works for Hamburg's Abendblatt.

If convicted, the journalist faces up to two years in prison.

Greece has hundreds of police and troops deployed across its border with Turkey to stem a rising flow of illegal immigration mainly from Africa, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.

Thousands of would-be migrants and asylum seekers are arrested in the area every year, forcing Athens to seek assistance from other European Union states to police the border.

The Greek government has also announced plans to erect a wire fence along part of the border, sparking criticism from rights groups.

© 2011 AFP

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