Turkey detains journalist who risks his life to report from Syria

19.02.2016

A Syrian journalist, raised in Britain, who has been living for five years in Turkey, was detained by the Turkish immigration authorities on Wednesday after applying for residency. Jarrah, who used the name Alexander Page when reporting from Syria, lived most of his life in London before going to Damascus in 2004. After fleeing Syria in 2011, he co-founded a citizen journalist group, ANA Press, which provides filmed reports to international outlets.

He has regularly risked his life by crossing into Syria to report on the aftermath of Russian military strikes and atrocities committed by IS. Jarrah fled Syria with his wife and child in 2011. He had previously been detained by the Syrian authorities and feared his role in reporting on the conflict for mainstream news agencies put him in danger.

Jarrah was held by immigration officials while trying to apply for a residency permit in the Turkish border city of Gaziantep. He has been allowed access to a lawyer and has not been charged with any crime.

The CPJ has called for his immediate release. Its Europe and central Asia programme coordinator, Nina Ognianova, said Jarrah should be allowed to work in Turkey without obstruction.

She 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.″    (The Guardian)

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