Reporters on assignment for VICE News in southeast Turkey are scheduled to appear in court Monday to face accusations of terrorism, allegations the international media company says are unsubstantiated.
The VICE crew was reporting in the city of Diyarbakir in the country’s predominantly Kurdish region when they were arrested for lack of proper government identification, “security sources” told Reuters Friday.
Two journalists from VICE UK, British citizens Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury, are among the crew. Along with a translator and one other colleague, they were reporting on escalating tensions between police and the youth wing of a pro-Kurdistan Workers’ Party.
No formal charges have been filed against the journalists yet, according to a spokesman for VICE News.
Since news of the journalists’ arrests spread Friday, several advocacy groups have called for their immediate release. In a statement, the Committee to Protect Journalists condemned Turkish authorities for imprisoning the crew, citing newsworthy reporting of interest to domestic and international audiences.