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Frightening: CNN reporter detained by Turkish police while cameras rolled

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CNN International correspondent Ivan Watson was covering the unrest in the streets of Turkey Saturday morning when plainclothes police officers closed in and detained him.

In a live broadcast on the first anniversary of mass protests in Istanbul, Watson was describing the use of force by officers who were preventing demonstrators from laying flowers in a park marking the site where the chaos first erupted a year ago.

According to CNN:

The camera kept rolling as the officers grabbed Watson and started walking with him. One officer kneed him in the back. They also broke the microphone off CNN’s camera while wrestling it out of the hands of the cameraman.

The veteran reporter told anchor Errol Barnett, “Errol, we’re being detained right now.”

Watson and his team were escorted in police custody. Police officers argued that Watson’s press accreditation, issued by the Turkish prime ministry, could have been “counterfeited” and that he had to produce a passport. He was not permitted to leave until the passport was retrieved from the nearby CNN bureau. But officers didn’t arrest him.

Michele Kirk


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