Gabriele Del Grande, an Italian journalist who had been detained in Turkey while researching refugees near the Syrian border, was deported on Monday.

According to Hürriyet Daily News, Del Grande, 34, was deported from a repatriation center in the Aegean province of Muğla on the morning of April 24 after an investigation into him was completed.

Writing from his Twitter account on Monday morning, however, Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano confirmed that del Grande was set free he was on his way back to Italy.

Alfano also offered his thanks to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu for the release of the Italian journalist.

Del Grande was arrested on April 9 in Hatay where he was interviewing Syrian refugees for a book he is writing about the war and the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The Italian journalist began a hunger strike later in mid April and was being held in an administrative detention center in Muğla province, on the Aegean Sea.

Last Friday, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on Turkish authorities to release Del Grande.

“Turkish authorities should clarify Gabriele’s situation and ensure all his rights are respected. Most importantly, they should release him so he can get back to doing what he does best: telling good, important stories,” HRW said in an article posted on its website.