SHAFAQNA- Dutch journalist Frederike Geerdink, who was briefly detained in January in the southeastern Turkish province of Diyarbakır, is facing a prison sentence of one to five years for allegedly carrying out “terrorism propaganda,” the Doğan news agency reported on Monday.
Geerdink was temporarily detained on charges of spreading terrorist propaganda and then released after she was questioned at the Diyarbakır Police Department’s counterterrorism unit for three hours on Jan. 6. The journalist’s detention coincided with the Turkey visit of Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders. Koenders was scheduled to meet with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, on the same day as Geerdink was detained by the police.
In a message posted on the Dutch Foreign Ministry’s official Twitter account, Koenders said he was “shocked” by Geerdink’s arrest. He said he “will personally discuss this here in Ankara with my Turkish colleague.”
Later in the day, Geerdink was released following an interrogation. Koenders later admitted in a speech at Dutch Parliament that during his visit he had threatened Turkish officials that he would leave the country unless Geerdink were released.
A prosecutor has recently finalized an indictment against Geerdink, who works as a freelance reporter in Diyarbakır specializing in Kurdish issues. The Diyarbakır 6th High Criminal Court has accepted the indictment, which alleges that Geerdink has been promoting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) via her social media accounts. In her testimony from her January detention, Geerdink reportedly denied the accusations, saying that she has not praised any terrorist activities.