Italy asks Turkey to release detained Italian journalist

Italy asks Turkey to release detained Italian journalist

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ROME: Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano has called his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu to request the release of Italian journalist Gabriele Del Grande, who is currently in police detention in Hatay on the Syrian border.

The phone call from Alfano came after journalist and documentary-maker Del Grande announced that he would begin a hunger strike on the grounds that his freedom and rights have been restricted since April 11.

Diplomatic sources say the two foreign ministers discussed the situation of the arrested journalist, with Alfano demanding his release.

The Foreign Ministry in Rome said in a statement on April 19 that Del Grande had managed to speak to his relatives by telephone on April 18 but “this is obviously not enough.”

European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, an Italian politician, 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.__Hurriyet

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