The first news on social media seemed positive, saying that journalist, Frederike Geerdink, who was detained several days ago, had finally been released. Unfortunately, things do not look so positive now.
Amnesty International‘s Turkey Researcher, Andrew Gardner, contacted her lawyers and has learned that, although she has been released, she is still under investigation under charges of assisting a terrorist organization continue. Moreover, Geerdink has been transferred to the “Foreigners Section,” a division of the police services that deals with foreign nationals, presumably under a deportation order.
Gardner notes that Geerdink has long been “a thorn in the side of Turkish authorities for her coverage of Kurdish issues” and that today’s actions “appear to be a continuation of Turkey’s campaign to silence critical journalists.”
These developments follow on the heels of the deportation of two British journalists yesterday. Another journalist, Mohammed Ismael Rasool, is still held under anti-terrorism charges in a case that Gardner has described as “unsubstantiated, outrageous and bizarre.” Amnesty has called for his release.
Geerdink was indeed deported and is now back in the Netherlands. She has expressed her anxiousness to return to Turkey as soon as possible to renew her reporting, saying, ”
“As much fun and violence-free the Netherlands may be, it’s not for me, there’s work to do for journalists in Turkey.”
“It’s clear the deportation is an attempt to make sure Frederike is not responsible for critical reporting. But it’s also part of a larger pattern of intimidation of journalists,” said Andrew Gardner.
St. Lawrence University