RSF urges Turkey to free jailed French journalist Loup Bureau

French journalist Loup Bureau

International media watchdog group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) held a demonstration in support of journalist Loup Bureau outside a Paris district’s town hall on Thursday and urged the immediate release of the French freelance journalist detained in Turkey on suspicion of terrorism while reporting on the Turkey-Iraq border.

The 27-year-old Bureau has been detained since July 26, 2017.  Journalist Bureau is accused of “aiding and assisting a terrorist organization.” A Turkish security source said photographs of the journalist with the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) fighters had been found on his laptop.

The French Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that it is continuing to make efforts with Turkish authorities to help Bureau. The reporter’s father, Loic Bureau has also told reporters he was able to speak to his son on the phone and found him “tired” and “a little discouraged.”

Turkey is ranked 155th out of 180 countries in a World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders. Turkey is also the biggest jailer of journalists in the world.

The most recent figures documented by the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has showed that 283 journalists and media workers are now in jails as of August 18, 2017, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 258 are arrested pending trial, only 25 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons. An outstanding detention warrants remain for 135 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 controversial coup attempt. Turkey’s Contemporary Journalists’ Association (ÇGD) recently announced that more than 900 press cards were cancelled.

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