Freed journalist returns to Italy

An Italian journalist who was detained in Turkey two weeks ago while doing research for a book has been released.

Gabriele del Grande flew straight back to Italy.

The 34-year-old had been held without charge in prison since being arrested on April 9th.

Italian journalist #GabrieleDelGrande released by Turkish authorities, landing in Bologna 10.10am pic.twitter.com/WADBP3oFKR— francesco strazzari (@franxstrax) 24 avril 2017

What he said

“I did not suffer any violence and not a hair on my head was touched,” Del Grande told reporters after arriving at Bologna airport.

“However, I was the victim of institutional violence and I believe what happened to me was illegal,” he added.

Del Grande said was gathering material for a book on Syrian refugees in the southeast border province of Hatay.

He also writes a blog, “Fortress Europe”, which focuses on efforts by migrants to reach Europe.

His detention caused strain between Rome and Ankara. Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano intervened directly to try to secure his release.

Italian journalist Gabriele del Grande is finally free, drawing by the amazing mollycrabapple in his support. pic.twitter.com/IJEvBukYT3— Rami Jarrah (RamiJarrah) 24 avril 2017

Supporters marched in Rome on Saturday to press for del Grande’s release.

They called on the EU to do all it could to intervene.

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