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Italian journalist detained in Turkey to start hunger strike

Europe
18.04.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Rome (dpa) - Gabriele Del Grande, an Italian journalist and filmmaker held by authorities in Turkey since April 9, said Tuesday he was unhurt but would start a hunger strike to protest against his detention.

Del Grande‘s message was relayed by his colleagues in a Facebook post on the page for "On the Bride‘s side," his award-winning documentary. It said that the filmmaker contacted them by phone at 2:30 pm (1230 GMT).

"I was allowed to phone only after days of protests. I was not told that Italian authorities wanted to get in touch with me. Tonight I will start a hunger strike and I call on everybody to mobilize and ask that my rights are respected," Del Grande was quoted as saying.

He added: "My documents are in order, but they won‘t allow me to name a lawyer and I have not been told when my detention will end. I am fine, they haven‘t laid a finger on me, but I cannot use the phone."

Del Grande said he was being held in connection with his work, about which he was repeatedly questioned, but no formal charges were presented. After being stopped near the Syrian border, he said he was taken to a detention centre in the south-western city of Mugla.

Earlier Tuesday, Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano told the Corriere della Sera daily that "all channels" had been activated to secure a release, and that Turkey had given "reassurances" about the case.

Del Grande writes the human rights blog Fortress Europe and has authored several books on the plight of migrants. "On the Bride‘s Side" tells the story of a group of Syrian refugees who make it across Europe by faking a wedding party.

 

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