CPJ and VICE News call on Turkey to #FreeRasool

By Samantha Libby/CPJ Advocacy Officer on October 21, 2015 2:26 PM ET

It has been more than seven weeks since Iraqi journalist Mohammed Ismael Rasool was arrested in Turkey alongside Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury, two British journalists from VICE News. But whereas Hanrahan and Pendlebury were released a week later, Rasool is still behind bars.

Today, in collaboration with VICE News, CPJ launched a petition calling on Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to immediately release Rasool. Turkey has also been reminded of its international human rights obligations by U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner who, on October 16, called on the country to maintain due process in Rasool's case.

An international delegation of press freedom groups, including the Committee to Protect Journalists, is on an emergency mission to Turkey this week in response to an increase in attacks on local and international journalists in the country. Journalists covering Turkey's involvement in the international fight against militant group Islamic State and clashes between Turkish forces and the Kurdistan Workers' Party should not have to fear the government as well.

Like Hanrahan and Pendlebury, Rasool was on assignment when he was arrested. His imprisonment is a grave injustice. Sign the petition calling on Turkish authorities to #FreeRasool.


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