Turkey Jails Two British Journalists for Vice News on Islamic State ‘Terror Activity’ Charges

Turkish police special forces in Diyarbakir
Turkish police special forces in Diyarbakir / AP

A court in southeastern Turkey has arrested two British journalists working for U.S.-based Vice News and their translator on charges of terror and aiding the Islamic State.

AFP reported that the journalists, who along with their translator and driver were first detained last week while covering unrest in the region, were charged Monday with "engaging in terrorist activity" for IS and "intentionally aiding an armed organization."

Vice News identified the journalists in a statement as Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury, and said the reporters had initially been arrested for filming without receiving accreditation from the Turkish government, only to later be accused of aiding IS.

The journalists were reportedly taken into custody after Turkish police confiscated their video footage. Along with their translator, an Iraqi national, they have been transported to a jail in Diyarbakir as they await trial. Their driver was allowed to go free.

Vice News’ Kevin Sutcliffe slammed the allegations Monday as "baseless" and "alarmingly false," labeling the charges an "attempt to intimidate and censor their coverage."

The news organization slammed "the Turkish government’s attempts to silence our reporters who have been providing vital coverage from the region."

"We continue to work with all relevant authorities to expedite the safe release of our three colleagues and friends," Sutcliffe said.