A VICE News journalist who was detained by Turkish police in August last year on terrorism charges has been released from prison. The Iraqi-Kurdish journalist and translator Mohammed Rasool was detained alongside fellow VICE journalists Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury.
The British pair was released in September after international criticism but Rasool was kept in a high-security prison. Despite being released from his cell, he is not allowed to leave Turkey and must report to a police station twice a week.
The trio travelled to Turkey hoping to film clashes between pro-Kurdish youths and security forces near the border with Iraq which have left dozens dead. They were arrested and charged in the south-eastern Turkish province of Diyarbakir.
Reports suggested that they were arrested after one of the men used encryption software on his laptop computer. Hanrahan and Pendlebury were released on 3 September unlike Rasool, who turned 25 whilst in custody.
VICE News released a statement on their website which said that he was looking forward to being "reunited with his friends and family". It read: "Today, VICE News is pleased to confirm its reporter, Mohammed Rasool has been released on bail having been held in a Turkish prison for 131 days.
"Along with his journalist colleagues, Phil Pendlebury and Jake Hanrahan, Rasool was arrested and imprisoned by Turkish police on August 27 2015, while reporting in the region for VICE News.
"Whilst Pendlebury and Hanrahan were released after 11 days, Rasool remained detained for over four months, charged with "assisting a terrorist organization". Rasool is now looking forward to being reunited with his family, friends and colleagues, who ask for his privacy to be respected during this time."
The arrests were criticised by VICE news and Amnesty International which said it was a "blatant case of punishing legitimate journalism using anti-terrorism laws". A number of journalists have been detained in Turkey charged with anti-terrorism offences.
Deputy Executive Director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, Robert Mahoney, said: "We are relieved that Mohammed Ismael Rasool is free on bail after spending 131 days in a high-security prison on trumped up terrorism charges. We urge Turkish authorities to drop all charges against him and allow him to travel and work freely."