New York, January 5, 2016–The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release on bail today of VICE News journalist Mohammed Ismael Rasool, and calls on authorities in Turkey to drop the terrorism charges he faces. Rasool, who was arrested in August, is banned from leaving Turkey and must report to a local police station twice a week until the court announces a ruling in his case, according to a statement by VICE News.
“We are relieved that Mohammed Ismael Rasool is free on bail after spending 131 days in a high-security prison on trumped up terrorism charges,” said CPJ Deputy Executive Director Robert Mahoney. “We urge Turkish authorities to drop all charges against him and allow him to travel and work freely.”
No date has been set yet for Rasool’s trial. The Iraqi journalist was arrested with VICE News journalists Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury on August 27, according to news reports. Hanrahan and Pendlebury were released a week later. Since his arrest CPJ, VICE News, and other international press freedom groups have advocated for Rasool’s release.