A WIGAN journalist arrested in Turkey on terror charges has said he feels a “massive responsibility” for his translator, who remains in prison.
Jake Hanrahan was detained, along with cameraman Philip Pendlebury, while filming clashes between police and youth members of the pro-Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on August 27.
Yes, it was a traumatic experience, but I think the biggest burden right now is the fact that my friend and colleague Mohammed Ismael Rasool is still in prison.Phil Pendlebury
They were accused of “working on behalf of a terrorist organisation” and “assisting Islamic State” before they were eventually released on Thursday.
Mr Hanrahan described his arrest and time in a high-security prison as “traumatic” and added he was concerned for their Turkish-based colleague Mohammed Ismael Rasool.
The 25-year-old told the BBC how trio were detained by 20 Turkish police, held in solitary confinement overnight, barred from contacting family and friends and questioned over alleged links to both Islamic State and the PKK.
He said: “Yes, it was a traumatic experience, but I think the biggest burden right now is the fact that my friend and colleague Mohammed Ismael Rasool is still in prison.
“That is the worst possible thing right now for us. We feel massive responsibility and Vice News are doing everything they can.
“It’s not a question of, ‘Oh the two western journalists are free and let’s leave a guy behind’.”
Vice News said: “Vice News continues to work around the clock with all relevant government and legal representatives to secure his release.
“We call on the Turkish authorities to continue their positive course of action in freeing Jake and Philip, and releasing Rasool immediately.”
Before the two journalists were released, the Foreign Office said the UK expected Turkey to uphold its obligations to allow freedom of expression.
Mr Pendlebury, 30, from Wigan, has filmed in countries including Iraq, Afghanistan and North Korea, while Mr Hanrahan has also written for The Guardian, the Independent, Wired and Rolling Stone Middle East.