An Italian journalist arrested in Turkey while researching refugees near the Syrian border has been freed after two weeks in detention, Italy’s foreign ministry said Monday.
Gabriele Del Grande, 34, was expected to arrive at Bologna airport in Italy Monday and be met by his parents and Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano.
“I spoke to him just now and he’s on his way back to Italy. I had the great joy of telling his family. We are waiting for him,” Alfano said.
Del Grande was handcuffed by Turkish police on April 9 as he was interviewing people who had fled the war-torn neighbouring country for a book he is writing on the conflict and the birth of the Islamic State group.
The blogger, writer and human rights activist began a hunger strike last week after claiming he had no access to a lawyer and had been “interrogated” on the content of his research.
Del Grande, who comes from Lucca in Tuscany, was a co-author and co-director of a documentary on Syrian and Palestinian refugees, “Io sto con la sposa” (“On the Bride’s Side”), that was presented at the Venice Film Festival in 2014.