Italian photographer shocked by Gezi charges: Is this a joke?

Mattia Cacciatori, Italian photographer, who had been arrested during Gezi Park protests in Taksim and later released, is now facing charges of up to 7 years in prison. Cacciatori, surprised at the charges levelled at him, reacted, saying “Is this a joke? I was just shooting photos there. These claims are ludicrous!”

Mattia Cacciatori (24), had been covering protests in Istanbul for a privately owned Italian photo agency since 22 June 2013. He was arrested, together with 59 others, during a clamp down by the police on 6 July 2013 against protestors called upon by Taksim Solidarity Platform to enter Gezi Park. The Prosecutor’s Office of Istanbul has finalised its report against 20 suspects including Cacciatori.

Mattia Cacciatori, who has been informed by the Dogan News Agency reporter that he may be tried for a prison term of between 1 year 2 months to 7 years for “violating the law on public gatherings and demonstrations” and ” resisting an officer while acting in the execution of the officer’s duty”, said he was shocked. Cacciatori noted that he returned to Italy after he was released and added, chuckling, “Are you joking? Will they come and pick me up with a special helicopter?”, “These claims are ludicrous!”

Cacciatori noted that he was released without any charges by the prosecutor’s office, and said “I can only laugh at these accusations, if they are true. I am neither an activist, nor have I resisted the police. They have dragged me to the police bus, holding me by the arms, and I walked alongside them peacefully”, he continued.
Cacciatori said that he is currently in Milan, and added “I was just doing my job there and shooting photos. The Prosecutor also told me that he does not think there will be any charges directed at me. That is why I was surprised to hear about these accusations”.
Cacciatori said that he has been working especially in war zones. “I have not yet received any official document from the authorities. Should I receive one, I am here in Italy and am not running away”, he added.

The original for this article can be found in Turkish here .

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