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Vice News journalists arrested to deter foreign media coverage of Kurdish conflict, lawyer says

A lawyer representing two Vice News journalists and their assistant has denounced a Turkish court's decision to arrest them on terror-related charges, calling it a government attempt to deter foreign media from reporting on the conflict with Kurdish rebels.

Renewed fighting in Turkey's mostly Kurdish southeast has killed scores of people

A member of the Turkish security forces stands guard at a checkpoint on the main road to the town of Silvan, near Diyarbakir, Turkey, on August 18. Two journalists from Vice News were arrested on August 27 in Diyarbakir on terror-related charges. (Sertac Kayar/Reuters)

A lawyer representing two Vice News journalists and their assistant has denounced a Turkish court's decision to arrest them on terror-related charges, calling it a government attempt to deter foreign media from reporting on the conflict with Kurdish rebels.

The two British journalists and their Turkey-based assistant were formally arrested late Thursday in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey's mostly Kurdish southeast, where renewed fighting has killed scores of people.

Tahir Elci, head of the Diyarbakir Bar Association, on Tuesday said the arrests were a government move to prevent international media from reporting from the area, after Turkey earlier this year gave police heightened powers to crackdown on protesters.

A government spokesman denied the accusation and said authorities would soon make a statement on the arrests.

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