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Turkey releases jailed Italian journalist Del Grande

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A Turkish court has released Gabriele del Grande, an Italian journalist working for the ANSA news agency who was detained during a security check in the southern province of Hatay earlier this month, according to a statement from Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano.

Writing from his Twitter account on Monday morning, Alfano said del Grande was now free, he had just talked to him and the journalist was on his way back to Italy.

Alfano also thanked to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu for the release of the Italian journalist.

Del Grande was arrested on April 9 in Hatay where he was interviewing Syrian refugees for a book he is writing about the war and the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The Italian journalist began a hunger strike later in mid-April and was being held in an administrative detention center in Muğla province, on the Aegean Sea.

Last Friday, Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on Turkish authorities to release Del Grande.

“Turkish authorities should clarify Gabriele’s situation and ensure all his rights are respected. Most importantly, they should release him so he can get back to doing what he does best: telling good, important stories,” HRW said in an article posted on its website.

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