CPJ calls on Turkey to release Syrian journalist Rami Jarrah
NEW YORKThe Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called on the Turkish authorities to immediately release Rami Jarrah, a Syrian journalist based in Turkey, who has been held since Feb. 17.
Jarrah was detained by immigration officials after trying to apply for a residency permit in the border city of Gaziantep, CPJ said in a written statement.
Jarrah fled Syria with his wife and child in 2011, fearing that his role in reporting on the conflict for international outlets had put him in danger, according to the New York Times. While still in Syria, the journalist who was raised in the U.K. contributed reporting to international outlets including CNN, Al Jazeera, and NPR. After leaving Syria, he co-founded the independent citizen journalist group ANA Press which provides footage and reports to international outlets including the New York Times, Huffington Post, and others, and continued to travel to his home country to report on the conflict.
“We call on the Turkish authorities to immediately release Rami Jarrah and allow him to work in Turkey without fear of obstruction,” CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said.
“Jarrah is known for his independent reporting on the war in Syria, which he has been covering for years at great risk. Syrian journalists like Jarrah, who have turned to Turkey for safe refuge, should be protected rather than subjected to detention and harassment,” Ognianova added.
It is reported that Jarrah was briefly held in a detention facility for foreign citizens but was moved to a different facility late on Feb. 18.