When Mathias Depardon was released by the Turkish government on 09 June, he had been held in custody for 32 days. Detained on 08 May in Hasankeyf in South East Turkey, the French freelancer had been on his very first day of shooting on assignment for National Geographic. “It was my first day photographing the new settlement of Hasankeyf, 300km from Batman,” he explains, adding that he had been in the region for 10 days and was driving back from Gaziantep when he was stopped.
One month after French photographer Mathias Depardon was first detained by the Turkish police, he has finally been released. It took pressure from the French government and Reporters Sans Frontiers, and a hunger strike by Depardon, but this evening he was on his way to Paris. And yesterday, after a month of only being allowed meetings with his lawyer, Emine Şeker, the 37-year-old was allowed to meet his mother, Daniele Van de Lanotte. “It was very emotional for both sides,” she told AFP. “I saw my son crying because he was so moved. I am relieved to see him, it is quite a gift.”
Despite an order for his deportation issued on 11 May, Mathieu Depardon remains in Turkish custody, his only contact with the outside world via his lawyer, Emine Şeker – who now has informed RSF that he began a protest hunger strike on 21 May
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.
French photographer Mathias Depardon has been arrested in South East Turkey, according to Erol Önderoğlu, the Turkish representative for the Reporters Without Borders NGO. Önderoğlu tweeted on 10 May that Depardon had been taken into custody after taking pictures of the ancient city of Hasankeyf and the Euphrates river; he added shortly afterwards that Depardon had been detained for 35 hours then transferred to the Immigration Administration [a migration centre], and had two cameras confiscated. On 10 May Önderoğlu tweeted with an update, stating that Depardon “faces ‘deport’ or ‘administrative detention’ at MigrationCenter (Lawyer)”. It is believed that Depardon was shooting on assignment for National Geographic – which was tagged in Önderoğlu’s first tweet. Önderoğlu was himself was placed under pre-trial arrest in June 2016, along with Ahmet Nesin and academic Sebnem Korur Fincanci, over charges of disseminating “terrorist propaganda”, after participating in a solidarity campaign supporting Ozgur Gundem, a pro-Kurdish publication, according to a report published on 21 June 2016 by The Guardian. The Stockholm Center for Freedom has detailed numerous other recent journalist arrests in …