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Freed journalist returns to Italy

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By Catherine Hardy  with REUTERS
Freed journalist returns to Italy

An Italian journalist who was detained in Turkey two weeks ago while doing research for a book has been released.

Gabriele del Grande flew straight back to Italy.

The 34-year-old had been held without charge in prison since being arrested on April 9th.

What he said

“I did not suffer any violence and not a hair on my head was touched,” Del Grande told reporters after arriving at Bologna airport.

“However, I was the victim of institutional violence and I believe what happened to me was illegal,” he added.

Del Grande said was gathering material for a book on Syrian refugees in the southeast border province of Hatay.

He also writes a blog, “Fortress Europe”, which focuses on efforts by migrants to reach Europe.

His detention caused strain between Rome and Ankara. Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano intervened directly to try to secure his release.

Supporters marched in Rome on Saturday to press for del Grande’s release.

They called on the EU to do all it could to intervene.