Statement on the arrest of ANF News Director in Belgium

ANF News Director Maxime Demiralp was arrested in Belgium on Turkey's request. We urge the Belgian authorities to release him immediately.

Fırat News Agency (ANF) News Director Maxime Demiralp was detained by Belgian police on December 15 on the grounds of an INTERPOL notice issued by Turkey. He was referred to court one day later, and formally arrested.

The terror and pressure policy pursued by the Turkish state against Kurdish politicians has now extended to the point of targeting Kurdish journalists through an INTERPOL notice. The arrest of our News Director Maxime Demiralp by Belgium is a consequence of this policy.

According to information we have reached, Turkey's INTERPOL notice for Demiralp is totally related with the reports published by our agency. The arrest of a journalist in a European country for his/her reports is a shame in terms of democracy and freedoms.

With this practice, Belgium serves as the law enforcer of the Turkish state's censorship and pressure against press. The arrest of Demiralp in the current situation means an extension of Turkey's pressures against press up to Europe.

The trial of appeal against Demiralp's arrest will be held on Friday.

We urge the Belgian authorities and EU institutions to ensure Demiralp's immediate release.