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Turkish Authorities Arrest Dutch Journalist for the Second Time This Year

Veteran Dutch reporter Fréderike Geerdink was detained on Sunday by authorities in southeastern Turkey while she covered a Kurdish opposition group.

by Gillian Mohney
Sep 6 2015, 5:35pm

Imagen vía EPA

Turkish authorities arrested a veteran Dutch reporter for the second time this year on Sunday, detaining journalist Fréderike Geerdink in southeastern Turkey while she covered the People's Democratic Party (HDP), a Kurdish opposition group.

Geerdink said on Twitter she was arrested in the Turkish town of Yuksekova and was waiting to be questioned by a prosecutor. Geerdink said she was with a group called Human Shield, and that they had all been arrested.

An unidentified government official confirmed to the Associated Press that Geerdink was arrested with 19 other people for illegally entering a restricted zone and taking part in the protest. The official said the investigation was ongoing. 

Geerdink was apparently able to post multiple tweets after she was taken into custody.

Related: Two VICE News Journalists Safely Back in UK, But One Remains Detained in Turkey

Geerdink was arrested earlier this year in Turkey and briefly held on charges that she had engaged in propaganda on behalf of Kurdish rebels. She faced spending five years in prison on the charges before she was acquitted.

Geerdink has reported on Kurdish issues for years as a freelance journalist, and said she was shocked by the fact that her reporting has seemingly made her a target for the government.

"I didn't expect it at all, I was really flabbergasted," Geerdink told The Independent earlier this year of having police arrive at her door. "I thought: 'What the hell is happening?' I was angry and shocked, watching them search through my stuff."

Global rights groups and free press advocates criticized Turkey's government this week after three VICE News journalists were detained and accused of supporting a terrorist organization. British journalists Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury were released and returned to the UK on Sunday morning, but Turkey-based journalist Mohammed Ismael Rasool remains imprisoned.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Turkey was one of the top 10 jailers of journalists in 2014.

Related: Turkish Media Crackdown Continues with Raids on Group Aligned with Muslim Cleric

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Tagged:
VICE News
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Mohammed Ismael Rasool
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fréderike geerdink