03/09/2015 10:43 BST | Updated 03/09/2015 10:59 BST

Vice Journalists Released From Prison, Says Turkish Official

Two Vice journalists who were arrested in Turkey on terror-related charges have been released from prison, according to reports.

A Turkish governmental official said on Thursday that British journalists, correspondent Jake Hanrahan and cameraman Philip Pendlebury, were now free, the Associated Press reported.

Their arrests prompted condemnation from human rights groups who attacked their arrests as baseless.

British Journalists Charged With 'Helping ISIS' In Turkey

The government official also reportedly said that their assistant remains in jail pending the conclusion of an investigation.

The two British journalists were charged with "engaging in terror activity" for the self-proclaimed Islamic State on Monday.

Jake Hanrahan who was arrested on terror-related charges has reportedly been released

Hanrahan and Pendlebury were arrested while shooting a film in the predominately Kurdish region of Diyarbakir last week.

The third man to be arrested was Turkish colleague, Mohammed Ismael Rasool, who was working as a fixer.

The three men were filming violent clashes between local police and members of the pro-Kurdistan Workers’ Party last week when they were taken into custody.

Vice News said in a statement that they staff were "grateful" the two British journalists had been freed, but were "deeply worried" that Rasool remains in prison.

The statement read: “Vice News has received confirmation from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office that two of our journalists, Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury have been released from a Turkish prison.

“While we are grateful that they have been freed, we are deeply worried by reports that our other Vice News colleague, Mohammed Ismael Rasool, has had his appeal of release rejected by the Turkish government.

“Rasool is an experienced journalist and translator who has worked extensively across the Middle East with Vice News, Associated Press, and Al Jazeera.

“We call on the Turkish authorities for a swift end to this unjust detainment and to grant his immediate release."

Reuters reported earlier this week that the men did not have government accreditation and on Monday the two British journalists were charged with assisting IS.

The Turkish official who made the announcement on Thursday reportedly spoke on condition of anonymity in line with Turkish government rules.

Earlier this week, following the news that the journalists were due to stand trial, Kevin Sutcliffe, Vice's head of news programming in Europe, said that the move was a "blatant obstruction of the fair legal process that Turkey has repeatedly pledged to uphold".

He added: "Vice News condemns in the strongest possible terms 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."


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