'Terrorist footage' recovered from held mediamen

(MENAFN- The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) Police have found footage of Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) members making bombs and Molotov cocktails from cameras of three foreign journalists who have been in detention since Friday on terrorism charges, police sources said Tuesday.

Vice News journalists Mohammed Ismael Rasool, Philip Gingell Hanrahan and Philip John Pendlebury were remanded to prison Monday by the Second Criminal Court in southeastern Diyarbakir province.

The reporters were charged with "knowingly and willfully helping armed terrorist organization without being a part of its hierarchical structure," judicial sources said Monday, without naming the organization which they allegedly aided.

A police search conducted in the hotel room of the trio revealed video cameras and hard disks involving alleged footage and interviews of armed members of the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDG-H) - the youth wing of the PKK - as well as various other alleged footage of dug up streets, and YDG-H members making bombs and Molotov cocktails, according to police records obtained by Anadolu Agency on Tuesday.

Police also found in the room a diary that allegedly contained information about the organizational structure, activities and members of the PKK, and its affiliate, Kurdish Communities Union (KCK); as well as information about the group's jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan, and other terrorist organizations, including the far-left Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), and the outlawed militant Turkish Communist Party - Marxist-Leninist (TKP/ML), which is a far-left organization carrying out illegal activities and armed attacks aimed at establishing Marxist-Leninist rule in the country.

All four groups are listed as terrorist organizations by Turkey.

Hanrahan reportedly told the police in his defense that the diary included such information because he, as a reporter, had to do research on the groups to learn about their leaders and objectives.

He said that they flew from the U.K. to Istanbul, and then to Mardin; from where they travelled by bus to Sirnak's Cizre district to film a documentary about the conflict in the town as well as the living conditions of the locals.

Next they travelled to Diyarbakir province, where they started filming the locals, as well as armed and masked people they ran into while filming, he added.

Pendlebury said that he was not associated with any terrorist organization, nor did he contact anyone to order them to launch a bomb attack on any public institution.

He said that he worked as a war correspondent for a British media company, and that's why he filmed masked people.

Rasool, on the other hand, reportedly said that Hanrahan and Pendlebury interviewed three women with masks, who had guns on their waists.

All three also reportedly said that after finishing shooting in Diyarbakir, they travelled to Cizre, where they were greeted by a man named Mesut N., who allegedly was a senior member of the former pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), which is succeeded by Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).

The hard disks have not yet been searched in full, which allegedly contain a large cache of data, some of which is encrypted, police sources said.

The journalists were detained last Friday upon the instruction of Diyarbakir's public prosecutor after a tipoff was received that the three foreign reporters were in town to allegedly "recruit members mainly for Daesh and other terrorist groups," police sources added.

The Journal Of Turkish Weekly

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