06 Dec 2018 Lvl. 1
Alert created on: 21 Dec 2016 Belgium

Belgium Arrests a Kurdish Journalist at Turkey's Request

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Partner EFJ/IFJ
On 15 December 2016 the Kurdish journalist known as Maxime Azadi was arrested near Turnhout, in Belgium, during routine checks by the Belgian police. Maxime Azadi runs the Kurdish press agency Firat news (ANF), set in the Netherlands. He also holds the blog called « Beyond the information » (in French, « Au-delà de l’information ») on the French online Platform Mediapart. He was arrested by the Belgian police upon a request made by the Turkish authorities, which had placed an Interpol lookout (a « red notice ») against the journalist, suspected of having « cooperated with a terrorist organisation ». On 16 December 2016 the investigative judge from Turnhout placed the journalist under a detention warant. On 19 December, the journalist’s lawyer, Luc Walleyn, filed a motion for interim release. It should be examined on Friday 23 December by the Judges' Council Chamber of Turnhout. If the detention warrant is confirmed, the Belgian political authorities will have to rule on Maxime Azadi’s extradition to Turkey.
06 Dec 2018: On 23 December 2016, journalist Maxime Azadi was released on bail by the Judges' Council Chamber of Turnhout. On 6 December 2018, the partner organisations to the Platform declared this case to be “resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.
03 Jan 2017
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