Del Grande sees consul amid hunger strike in Turkish prison

Illegal detention says lawyer, in isolation for 9 days

21 April, 20:49

    ROME - The Italian consul to Ankara on Friday finally managed to see Gabriele Del Grande, an Italian reporter held in a Turkish detention centre after his arrest on the Syrian border 11 days ago, who has been on hunger strike since earlier this week.

    "Contacts are ongoing to try to secure (Del Grande's) release," consular sources said.

    The lawyer of the 34-year-old blogger, rights activist and documentary maker also succeeded in seeing him and said his detention was illegal, adding that he had been held in isolation since his move to the detention centre nine days ago.

    Del Grande's detention is illegal because no charges have been pressed and it is therefore a purely punitive measure, his Turkish lawyer Taner Kilic told ANSA Friday. "We have had no news about possible charges against Gabriele. His detention is completely illegal, There is no legal impediment to repatriation, it is a punitive measure," Kilic said after meeting his client with an Italian consular delegation in the detention centre at Mugla. "We asked to see his dossier, but that was denied us. At the moment, the director of the centre does not have any information regarding his possible expulsion".

    Del Grande has been held in isolation for nine days since his arrest on the Syrian border 11 days ago, Kilic told ANSA. It is "premature" to speak of Del Grande's release and return to Italy, his father told reporters Friday. "It's too early to talk about a repatriation in the short term, but we are continuing to hope," said Massimo Del Grande.

    Del Grande is well despite being on hunger strike, Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said.

    "Gabriele is well, he is doing a hunger strike by just taking in liquids. He has the assistance of a doctor whom I requested and obtained from the Turkish authorities," Alfano said.

    © Copyright ANSA - All rights reserved

    Business opportunities

    The information system of business
    opportunities abroad

    News from Mediterranean