i have hundreds of friends who are journalists. many of whom, like me, would jump at the chance to be a foreign correspondent, especially if it was dangerous and important and thrilling and made our lives worth living that much more.
about two months ago a young journalist for Vice, Mohammed Rasool, was arrested in Turkey with two other Vice reporters, while filming clashes between Turkish cops and members of the Kurdistan Workers’ party in Diyarbakir.
eventually the Turks released two of the Vice reporters but are keeping Rasool in jail for allegedly aiding a terrorist group. the government wants to look at his encrypted files before deciding whether to go forward with prosecuting him.
journalists dont give up files to nobody. they are ours. not yours. ever. theres the rare exception where, after a story is published, if the source denies that they said something, a journalist may reveal notes or audio or video to prove that the person said what was published.
but you dont get to go on a fishing expedition through the files of any journalist that you want and get to see everything that theyve got in their tape recorder or notebook. if you suspect someone of foul play, and you have proof, then have a speedy, fair trial, otherwise get bent.
Turkey is supposed to be an ally of the U.S. and the U.N. Barack Obama doesn’t mention the Armenian Holocaust solely because he wants to maintain a good relationship with Turkey. when Turkey falsely imprisons journalists for doing their jobs, shit gets fucked.
Turkey knows it did the wrong thing. they’re no dummies. and even though Vice is Canadian, last week the US State Dept told Turkey to cut the shit with Rasool and treat him fairly, but bro is still locked up IN A TURKISH PRISON. a place i wouldn’t want to be and i wouldnt want any of my friends to be in right now.
we can’t have allies like this. there are GOP debates in a week, i seriously doubt that this issue will come up, but i think it would be fantastic if those running for president were asked how they would handle Turkey if they were president right now and our so-called ally was raiding the offices of journalists and clamping down on free expression and freedom of the press.
in the meantime, let’s keep this story in the forefront because Rasool could be me or you or any of our many journalist friends. and if they will do it to journalists they’d do it to anyone.