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Russian reporter detained in Turkey leaves alone the incident

June 16, 2013, 14:56 UTC+3
The reporter said he “walked along Taksim Square and decided to take pictures of two water cannons, and the police ran to me immediately”
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Photo ITAR-TASS

Photo ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, June 16 (Itar-Tass) - Russian reporter Arkady Babchenko, who was detained in Istanbul on Friday, will not insist on an investigation into the legal aspect of actions the local police have undertaken.

Babchenko told Itar-Tass he was not an employee of the Nezavisimaya Gazeta for several years and came to Turkey as a freelancer.

“I cannot say everything about me is fine, but I am alive,” he said. “The police beat me on my legs. The left leg swelled up and it is painful to walk.”

The reporter said he “walked along Taksim Square and decided to take pictures of two water cannons, and the police ran to me immediately.”

“I show to them my reporter certificate, but they would not care, took me aside, beat up and brought to a police station,” Babchenko said. “After they realised what they have done, they began to invent ‘good reasons’, that I do not have whatever accreditation, though I did not have to have one.”

“Later on came information that I had attacked the police, used dirty English, and afterwards they announced me a Russian spy,” the reporter continued. “The story with spying stopped only as the Russian consular service got involved.”

The reporter said the police wanted to open a criminal case on his attacking the policemen, but “the prosecutor still refused to do so, and then emerged an administrative case on a lack of the accreditation.”

Babchenko said he “violated nothing and complied with the law fully.”

“It is useless to insist on a fair investigation into the situation. Those are my professional outgoings,” he said. “I am not going to undertake anything for an investigation, especially in the tense situation in that country.”

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