15 June 2013, 00:27

Russian journalist beaten by police in Istanbul

турция полиция автомобиль

Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko has been beaten and detained by police near the Taksim Square in Istanbul. At present, he is in hospital under guard. (VIDEO)

As Mr. Babchenko says, he was photographing empty police cars when people in police uniform run up to him, demanded that he must stop photographing and took him by the arms.

“I tried to shake their hands off me,” Arkady says, “but they took me to a nearby yard and beat me up. They kicked my legs and gave me one very painful kick in the groin. They beat me up so badly that now I cannot walk. At present, I am in hospital, and the police are guarding me.”

The police took Arkady's passport and other documents, but left his cell phone to him and allowed him to make calls.

“As far as I understand, I am being accused of attacking the police,” the journalist says. “I don't know what they are going to do with me, whether they will expel me from the country or put me under trial. They said that very soon, they will take me to a department of foreigners' affairs.”

The Russian consul in Istanbul Nikolay Kuzovenko says that a group of the consulate's workers have went to the police office, where Mr. Babchenko was delivered after his arrest, to try to find out the details of the arrest and to help him.

A police officer on duty in the police department of the Taksim district says that the Russian journalist was detained for an attack on the police. He was taken to a hospital “for survey”, because this is the usual routine in similar cases, the policeman says.

For more than a fortnight, Turkey has been gripped by riots. They started with a rally in Istanbul, the participants of which protested against the authorities' plans to cut down a park near the Taksim Square. The riots are often accompanied with unrest. According to the latest news, 4 people have already been killed and 5,000 wounded in clashes with police.

Russian journalist back in Russia after Turkey arrest

A Russian journalist, Arkady Babchenko, has flown back to Russia after his Friday arrest in unrest-ridden Istanbul, Russian media say.

The reporter of the Novaya Gazeta newspaper was seized late on Friday in Taksim square, which has been a focal point in the recent anti-government unrest in the country’s largest city.

He was arrested for allegedly filming the protests without a license and resisting the police.

Babchenko was sflown back to his homeland after spending a night in a police station cell. He was later released without being charged. But the Istanbul authorities advised him to leave the country as soon as possible.

The journalist reportedly said he was in good health and thanked the Russian consulate in Istanbul for their support.

Turkish police: Russian reporter must leave Turkey on June 15 - consul

The Turkish police insist that Russian reporter Arkady Babchenko, who was arrested in Istanbul on Friday, leave the country no later than on Saturday night, the Russian consul in the city said.

The consul, Nikolai Kuzovenko, told Interfax that Babchenko had not been charged.

"The prosecutor has let him go, at the moment Babchenko is at a police station to fulfill some formalities," the diplomat said.

However, the reporter, who was released in a courtroom on Saturday, said in a program on the Ekho Moskvy (Echo of Moscow) radio that he had no plans to leave Turkey before June 17.

"As of 17:30 Moscow Time, Babchenko was still at the police station, very soon he will be moved to the Istanbul section of the deportation department, where he will stay until his departure home," Kuzovenko said.

Babchenko, who was arrested on Istanbul's Taksim Square, told Russia's Novaya Gazeta newspaper that he was taking pictures of empty police cars when plain-clothed men came up to him, demanded that he stop taking photos, grabbed him by the arms and detained him.

The journalist said he had had his passport and other documents taken away from him but that he had been allowed to keep his mobile and use it for calls.

Russian journalist detained in Istanbul expects to be released

Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko, who was detained near Taksim Square in Istanbul on Saturday, has been released in a courthouse, Echo of Moscow radio has reported.

"We arrived at the courthouse, sat in the lobby there for two hours, and then they removed my handcuffs. Now, as far as I understand, I am being transported back to the police station to fill up some papers, and then I will probably be released," Babchenko said in an interview broadcast by the radio station on Saturday.

It was reported earlier that Turkish special services beat and detained Babchenko near Taksim Square in Istanbul on Friday.

Babchenko himself told Novaya Gazeta that he was taking pictures of empty police vehicles when people in civilian clothing approached him and categorically demanded that he stop doing this, then seized him by his arms and forced him to go with them.

The journalist said the men who detained him took away his passport and other documents but did not take his telephone and allowed him to make calls.

An official from the Russian Consulate General in Istanbul told Interfax that Babchenko was likely to be deported to Russia on Saturday.

Turkish court to decide on deporting Russian journalist

Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko, who was detained and reportedly beaten in Turkey on Friday, was brought to a court on Saturday morning, where a decision on his possible deportation could be made in the near future, a spokesperson for the Russian consular office in Istanbul said.

"He might be deported to Russia already today," he said.

Babchenko said he was feeling well and had no complaints about his health, he said.

The diplomatic official said he had no information as to why the Russian journalist had been detained.

It was reported earlier that Turkish special services beat and detained Babchenko near Taksim Square in Istanbul on Friday.

Babchenko himself told Novaya Gazeta that he was taking pictures of empty police vehicles when people in civilian clothing approached him and categorically demanded that he stop doing this, then seized him by his arms and forced him to go with them.

The journalist said the men who detained him took away his passport and other documents but did not take his telephone and allowed him to make calls.

Istambul: Beaten Russian journalist taken to the prosecutor's office

Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko, detained by Turkish police a day before in Istambul, will be delivered in half an hour to the prosecutor for presentation of charge and pronouncement of the decision.

"He spent the night at the station and after about half an hour to be delivered to the prosecutor's office," - said RIA Novosti Nikolay Kuzovenko, Consul of Russian General Consulate in Istanbul.

According to him, Russian General Consulate in Istambul received first information about detention of the Russian citizen on Friday at 20.00 (21.00 MSK). Staff of the Russian General Consulate responded quickly and immediatly went to the police station which serves the area of Taksim.

"There has been precisely established that the detained Russian citizen really is Arcady Babchenko - police officers showed us his documents." said the Russian consul.

Voice of Russia, TASS, Interfax, RIA

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