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Detained VOA Reporter Released in Turkey


Hatice Kamer, (who also goes by the name Khajijan Farqin)

Hatice Kamer, (who also goes by the name Khajijan Farqin), a freelance reporter working for the Voice of America's Kurdish service, has been released after being detained by Turkish authorities in Diyarbakir.

Details of her arrest Saturday were relayed by a family friend, who said the reasons for Kamer's detention remain unclear. Her family has said that because of a state of emergency declared in the area, even her attorney was not able to contact her.

Kamer, who also freelanced for the BBC, was taken into custody in Turkey’s Siirt province at a police checkpoint while on her way to report on a landslide at a copper mine, reported.

Earlier this month, Olivier Bertrand, who works for the French news website, was detained while reporting in Gaziantep, north of Turkey’s border with Syria. He was subsequently deported.

Since declaring a state of emergency days after a failed coup attempt on July 15, the Turkish government has shut down close to 195 newspapers, broadcasters, publishers and distribution companies and imprisoned about 150 journalists on terrorism charges, an accusation that has become fairly common since the attempted overthrow of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's government.

Late last month, a few thousand people protested in Diyarbakir following the removal from office and arrest of the city’s co-mayors, Gultan Kisanak and Firat Anli, on terrorism charges. Diyarbakir, the largest city in the predominantly Kurdish southeast, is the center of the pro-Kurdish movement.

VOA's Kurdish service contributed to this report