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Vice News Says Reporter Released on Bail in Turkey

FILE - In this Nov. 1, 2014 file photograph, freelance translator Mohammed Rasool is pictured during a break while working with an Associated Press team in Turkey. Vice News said Jan. 5, 2016 that reporter Mohammed Rasool has been released on bail after being held in a Turkish jail for four months.

Iraqi Kurdish journalist Mohammed Rasool has been released after 131 days in a Turkish prison, the organization he was working for said Tuesday. Rasool's arrest on charges of assisting a terrorist organization had been widely criticized by international media organizations.

Rasool, who was arrested in August while covering the conflict in Turkey's mostly Kurdish southeast, will be required to report to a police station twice a week and is barred from leaving the country.

"Rasool is now looking forward to being reunited with his family, friends and colleagues, who ask for his privacy to be respected during this time,'' Vice News said.

Rasool, 25, was working as a news assistant and translator when he was detained along with two Vice News journalists — Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury _ in the city of Diyarbakir on Aug. 27. The two British journalists were released after 11 days and deported, while Rasool was sent to a high-security prison.

The three journalists had traveled to towns along Turkey's border with Iraq, the center of renewed violence between Kurdish militants and government forces.

Rasool's detention came amid a spike in prosecutions of journalists in Turkey, many charged with anti-terrorism offenses and under laws against insulting the president. Media advocacy groups had criticized his detention and called for his immediate release.

Rasool, an Iraqi citizen, has previously worked as a news assistant for The Associated Press and other media organizations.