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Russian journalist detained in Istanbul to be sent back home shortly

June 15, 2013, 18:19 UTC+3

Babchenko was detained by plain-clothes policemen when he was taking pictures of the police cars in Taksim Square on Friday, June 14

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ANKARA, June 15 (Itar-Tass) - Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko detained in Istanbul will be sent back home under police supervision, Russian Consul in Istanbul Nikolai Kuzovenko told ITAR-TASS on Saturday, June 15.

“The journalist is at the police station right now, pending administrative procedures. He will be handed over to the security department’s section that deals with foreigners. He will be subsequently escorted to the airport under police supervision and will then fly to Russia,” the consul said.

He noted that no criminal case has been opened against the journalist. “He has the return ticket and it will most likely be reregistered for the nearest date. No other sanctions against Babchenko have been announced so far. The authorities may impose entry restrictions upon him in the future,” the diplomat said.

Babchenko was detained by plain-clothes policemen when he was taking pictures of the police cars in Taksim Square on Friday, June 14.

“The police say Babchenko was taking pictures in Taksim Square without permission and offered resistance at the moment of detention. Our diplomats promptly visited the police station to provide consular support to the detainee,” Kuzovenko said earlier.

He explained that the authorities’ main complaint was over resistance to the police who had detained the reporter.

According to the consul-general, the reporter had no permission to engage in journalistic activities in Turkey as he had arrived in the country as a tourist.

Under local laws, a person detained for such a violation can be set free without any charges put forward. In that case such a person can stay in Turkey until the expiration of the visa on condition that he will refrain from any professional or other activity that requires special permission. If a person fails to comply with this condition, he may be deported.

It was reported earlier that doctors had found a hematoma and an injury of the journalist’s right leg during a medical examination, but these injuries required no urgent medical attention.

However Kuzovenko said Babchenko was in fair condition and he had no serious injuries.

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