Dion Nissenbaum, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, was detained on Tuesday in Istanbul and was held for two-and-a-half days without access to his family or attorneys before his release on Friday morning, the WSJ reported.
A person familiar with the situation said Nissenbaum was taken into custody for allegedly violating a ban on the publication of images from an Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) video, although authorities declined to tell Nissenbaum precisely what he was being investigated for.
While in custody Nissenbaum was denied permission to contact his family or employer and was refused access to a lawyer despite repeated requests. The WSJ was unable to determine his whereabouts until Thursday, when it was notified that they could pick up their reporter the next morning.
“While we are relieved that Dion was released unharmed after nearly three days, we remain outraged at his peremptory detention, without any contact with his family, legal counsel or colleagues,” said the paper’s editor-in-chief, Gerard Baker.
Nissenbaum’s detention comes at a time when freedom of the press is under siege by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey, with 143 journalists currently in prison awaiting trial and 195 news outlets shut down by decree for alleged ties to terrorism or coup plotting.
Currently on his way back to the United States with his family, Nissenbaum tweeted on Saturday “Thanks for well wishes! @SeemaJilani and I are heading to US after very trying ordeal. Thanks to @WSJ for helping us ring in 2017 together!” and also cleared up any confusion about him being deported, saying a deportation threat that had been made was dropped after he was freed on Friday.