Earlier today, the Danish freelance reporter, Nagieb Khaja, was viciously beaten by Turkish Security Forces who caught him attempting to cross the Syrian border illegally.
For the past two years, Nagieb regularly and rather successfully crossed the Syrian-Turkish border to report from rebel-held areas in Aleppo and Idlib. The latter featured him together with notorious Danish jihadist and former gang member, Abderozzak Benerabe (nicknamed “big A”), in a documentary film broadcasted by Denmark’s largest broadcasting corporation, DR.
“Big A” (middle) with fighters of Ahrar al-Sham in rural Idlib – picture taken by Nagieb Khaja sometime during 2013.
According to Mr. Khaja, he was detained by three Turkish border guards this morning who caught him trying to get smuggled across the border into rebel-held areas in Syria. Upon custody, he was brutally beaten and heavily cussed by the Turkish police despite several pleas of “merely being a journalist”. Once they finished, they laughingly told him to bugger off and let him cross the border to Syria for unknown reasons.
Despite being a NATO country, Turkey hosts the largest imprisoned journalist population of the World; some 40 are reportedly detained as of 2013. Meanwhile, Erdogan – backed by the US – has ordered major crackdowns on Syrian refugees and a partial closure of the Syrian-Turkish border.
Nagieb Khaja, a Danish national with Afghani background, has previously been embedded with the Taliban in Afghanistan and various Islamist factions in Syria. Nagieb is also a regular debater on Danish television and less than a week ago called for Bashar al-Assad’s downfall. In a social media comment, Nagieb added that he would contact Danish government to report the incident which happened only a few days after Copenhagen signed a EU-brokered deal to hand over £37,5 million to Istanbul to solve the growing refugee crisis.
Nagieb Khaja walking freely amongst Taliban fighters in Afganistan.