Italian reporter deported after detention in Turkey
ROME - Agence France-PresseAn Italian journalist who had been detained in Turkey while researching refugees near the Syrian border has been deported after two weeks in detention, diplomatic sources confirmed on April 24.
Gabriele Del Grande, 34, was deported from a repatriation center in the Aegean province of Muğla on the morning of April 24 after an investigation into him was completed, sources said.
He was expected to arrive at Bologna Airport in Italy on April 24 and be met by his parents and Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, Agence France-Presse reported.
“I spoke to him just now and he’s on his way back to Italy. I had the great joy of telling his family. We are waiting for him,” Alfano said.
He also thanked his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu for the journalist’s release.
Del Grande was handcuffed by Turkish police on April 9 as he was interviewing people who had fled the war-torn neighboring country for a book he is writing on the conflict and the birth of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The blogger, writer and human rights activist began a hunger strike last week after claiming he had no access to a lawyer and had been “interrogated” on the content of his research.
Del Grande, who comes from Lucca in Tuscany, was a co-author and co-director of a documentary on Syrian and Palestinian refugees, “Io sto con la sposa” (On the Bride’s Side), that was presented at the Venice Film Festival in 2014.