Naharnet

Journalist Firas Hatoum Briefly Detained in Turkey

Journalist Firas Hatoum and his colleague Rony Rmaity were temporarily detained by Turkish authorities on Tuesday for illegally entering the embattled Syrian town of Kobane, reported al-Akhbar daily.

It said that the LBCI television journalist was seeking to film a report for the channel from Kobane, but the advances made by the Islamic State group in the area forced him to alter his plans.

He turned himself over to Turkish border guards, who carried out an investigation with him and Rmaity.

They have since been released after being detained for a few hours, reported LBCI.

His wife, journalist Nancy al-Sabaa, told al-Akhbar that Hatoum had contacted her from Turkey.

The Lebanese embassy in Turkey was informed of the development and it explained to Turkish authorities that he was in Kobane for media purposes, she continued.

In 2007, Hatoum was detained for 44 days on charges of stealing evidence linked to the investigation into ex-Premier Rafik Hariri's murder.

Kurdish forces had recently driven out the IS group from Kobane following months of battles.

At one point, the jihadist group had looked poised to overrun Kobane.

But Kurdish forces gradually pushed back the jihadists with the help of the U.S.-led air raids and a group of fighters from Iraq's Kurdish peshmerga forces.

M.T.

Y.R.


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