Documentary, Editorial, News, Photojournalism

Reporters Without Borders calls for Mathias Depardon’s immediate release

The French photographer has been detained by the Turkish authorities since his arrest on Monday in Hasankeyf, Batman Province

Non-governmental organisation has called for French photographer Mathias Depardon’s immediate and unconditional release, describing his detention in Southeast Turkey since 8 May “completely unjustified”.

Aged 30 and based in Istanbul, Depardon was arrested while doing a report on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers for National Geographic magazine. After being held for just over 30 hours in a police station in Hasankeyf he was taken to a detention centre operated by the National Department for Migration, an interior ministry offshoot, in the city of Gaziantep, say RWB in a statement released on 10 May.

RWB adds that the Hasankeyf police say Depardon was arrested on suspicion of “propaganda for a terrorist organisation”, an apparent allusion to photographs of members of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) by Depardon, published in the past in French media outlets. The police are thought to have stumbled across these images while looking at Depardon’s social media accounts after they had taken him into custody.

“Mathias Depardon’s detention constitutes further evidence of the suspicion with which foreign journalists are increasingly treated in Turkey,” states Erol Önderoğlu, RSF’s representative in Turkey. “The absurd charges brought against him seem designed solely to justify his arbitrary arrest after the event. We call for nothing less than his complete release, without prosecution or expulsion.”

Read the full statement here https://rsf.org/en/news/turkey-rsf-calls-french-photographers-release Read BJP’s first report on Depardon’s arrest here http://www.bjp-online.com/2017/05/mathias-depardon-arrested-in-turkey/