GUEST BLOG / By Thomas Burr, President, National Press Club, Washington DC--The National Press Club expressed concern Thursday for the well-being of an American freelance journalist who has reportedly been detained for more than three weeks in a Turkish jail.
The reporter, Lindsey Snell, has worked for news organizations such as MSNBC, Yahoo News, ABC News and Vocativ, according to her social media accounts and news reports.
Snell was detained Aug. 7 after crossing from Syria into Turkey and has been charged by Turkish authorities with violating a war zone, the State Department has confirmed.
It is not clear from news accounts whether Snell was reporting in Syria or why she was going to Turkey. Two days prior to her arrest, Snell had described on her Facebook page how she had been held by an al Qaeda-affiliated group in Syria and subsequently escaped.
Turkey has for several years become increasingly repressive toward the press, never more so than since a July 15 coup attempt against the regime of Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He has cited the coup as a rationale for further crackdowns on not only journalists but academics, civil servants and others.
Turkey issued arrest warrants for 35 more journalists this week. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Turkish authorities have closed down more than 100 news organizations and detained more than 100 of their employees, while at least 330 journalists have had their credentials revoked.
Contact: John M. Donnelly, chairman, NPC Press Freedom Committee: firstname.lastname@example.org; 202 746 6020