Italy calls on Turkey to release jailed journalist Gabriele Del Grande

Gabriele Del Grande, an Italian journalist detained by Turkish authorities since 10 April, declared on Tuesday he will go on hunger strike.

Italy has urged Turkey to release Gabriele Del Grande, 34, a journalist who was detained near the Syrian border on 9 April, while doing research for a book.

In a statement on 19 April the Italian foreign ministry said that Del Grande had been able to speak with his family on Tuesday but that this was “obviously not enough,” and he had to be released, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

The journalist’s phone call was published on the Facebook page of his documentary film Io sto con la sposa (I stand with the bride): “My papers are in order but I haven’t been allowed to name a lawyer and I haven’t been informed on how long my detention will last. The reason for my arrest is connected to my work. I have been questioned about it. I was able to make this phone call only after days of protest,” he said.

The President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, also called for Del Grande’s immediate release.

“I call for the immediate release of #DelGrande and all journalists unjustly detained in Turkey. No democracy without freedom of expression,” Tajani tweeted.

More than a hundred journalists are thought to be in prison in Turkey.

The Committee for the Protection of Journalists calling Turkey “the biggest jailer of journalists.”