UPDATE: Gabriele Del Grande is free, according to Italian Chamber of Deputies President Laura Boldrini.
— laura boldrini (@lauraboldrini) April 24, 2017
Today could be a decisive day for Gabriele Del Grande. Excluding any possible surprises, on Monday the Turkish authorities are expected to communicate to the blogger from Lucca, who was arrested on April 9 while interviewing Syrian refugees near the border with Syria, whether they will press charges or, as we all hope, he will be released, finally allowing him to join his family. At least, this is what Ankara has hinted so far.
However, things can change. It is even possible that Del Grande’s condition of extreme uncertainty will be extended. Beyond what the Turkish law provides for arrested individuals (a maximum of 14 days for either pressing charges or granting freedom), Del Grande was put in custody in an immigration detention center, where — as noted by the chairman of the Senate’s Committee on human rights, Luigi Manconi — a person can be detained for a maximum of six months. This condition leaves all scenarios open, from the worst to the most positive, even the possibility that the journalist can soon return home.
In the meantime, Del Grande has been on a hunger strike for five consecutive days at the Mugla center. He is also refusing to take vitamins and supplements, only ingesting fruit juice. On Friday, he was finally able to meet with the Italian consul in Smyrna, Luigi Iannuzzi, and the lawyer Taner Kilic, president of Amnesty International Turkey, his personal friend. However, the attorney was not allowed to read the journalist’s file to learn about the charges. Beyond the assumptions, the reasons why Del Grande was arrested remain a mystery, although almost two weeks have passed.