French photojournalist Depardon waiting to be deported in prison cell for 10 days

French journalist Mathias Depardon.

French photojournalist Mathias Depardon, who was detained on May 8 after photographing the local scenery in Turkey’s southeastern Batman province, has been waiting to be deported for 10 days in a prison cell, Turkish media reports said on Friday.

Depardon, who was accused of disseminating the propaganda of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on social media, was released by a Turkish court last week. Following the court decision Depardon was taken to the Gaziantep Immigration Authority in the Oğuzeli district of Gaziantep province for deportation. However, the journalist has been waiting for his deportation in a prison cell for 10 days, according to lawyer Emine Şeker.

Şeker told T24 news portal that relevant officials say they are waiting for a response from Ankara to begin the deportation proceedings of the French journalist.

Depardon is an İstanbul-based documentary freelance photographer and frequent contributor to The Wall Street Journal and Le Monde.

Pressure on foreign journalists in Turkey has been mounting in recent years, with the government, pro-government journalists and government trolls on social media directly targeting them.

Journalist Pınar Gayıp.

Meanwhile, on Friday, Etkin Haber Ajansı (ETHA) correspondent Pınar Gayip has been re-detained during a police raid launched into her home. Police forces raided journalist Gayıp’s home at around 2:30 a.m., ETHA reported.

She was detained on the grounds of a detention warrant issued as part of two investigations carried out by the İzmir Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. Journalist Gayıp was also detained by Turkish gendarmarie on May 4 as she was following the first hearing of Suruç massacre in a Şanlıurfa court.

Turkey is the leading jailer of journalists in the world with one third of arrested journalists across the globe being held in Turkish jails. Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has documented that 240 journalists are now in jails as of May 18, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 218 are arrested pending trial, only 22 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons.

An outstanding detention warrants remain for 104 journalists who live in exile or remain at large in Turkey. Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the movement, the government also closed down more than 180 media outlets after the coup attempt. (SCF with May 19, 2017

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