Vice reporter released from Turkish prison

mohammed rasool
Vice journalist Mohammed Rasool was released from a Turkish prison after 131 days.

Vice journalist Mohammed Rasool was released on bail from a Turkish prison on Tuesday, ending a detainment that had spanned 131 days.

"Rasool is now looking forward to being reunited with his family, friends and colleagues, who ask for his privacy to be respected during this time," a Vice spokesperson said in a statement.

Rasool was arrested in the city of Diyarbakir on August 27, 2015. He was charged with "assisting a terrorist organization," and held in a high security prison in Adana.

Rasool was arrested along with his colleagues, Phil Pendlebury and Jake Hanrahan, while covering clashes between police and members of the Kurdish Workers Party.

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Both Pendlebury and Hanrahan were released after 11 days, while Rasool remained behind bars. He turned 25 during his time in the prison.

Throughout Rasool's nearly four months in prison, Vice maintained his innocence. The outlet staged a two-hour "media blackout" in October as a show of solidarity with Rasool.

The State Department urged Turkey to follow due process in the case.

Rasool lives in Istanbul, where he was completing his master's degree prior to his arrest. Pendlebury and Hanrahan hired Rasool because of his fluency in English, Turkish, Arabic, Kurdish and Persian.

The Associated Press also leaned on Rasool's language skills during its coverage of the Kurdish battle against ISIS in the Syrian city of Kobani.

Hanrahan said in October that Rasool was a vital part of Vice's coverage of the tension in Turkey.

"You can't imagine turning up to a place like that without someone like Rasool," Hanrahan said.

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