Wednesday, February 10, 2010

US Forces release freelance Photographer in Iraq

Ibrahim Jassam Mohammed had been held for 17 months without charge despite protests from media rights groups. This shooter from Reuter is free at last.Chris Tryhorn, from the Guardian, reports:

A Reuters photographer in Iraq has been freed by the US military after 17 months' detention without charge.

Ibrahim Jassam Mohammed, an Iraqi who contributed to Reuters on a freelance basis, was released earlier today.

He was detained in a raid by US and Iraqi forces on his home in Mahmudiya, south of Baghdad, in September 2008 and continued to be held without charge despite widespread protest from media rights groups.

"How can I describe my feelings? This is like being born again," Jassam told Reuters by telephone.

"I am very pleased his long incarceration without charge is finally over," said Reuters editor-in-chief David Schlesinger.

"I wish the process to release a man who had no specific accusations against him had been swifter."

Jassam's case was the latest example of Iraqi journalists working for foreign news organisations being detained by the US military without charge.

A month before his arrest, US forces detained Reuters cameraman Ali Mashhadani for the third time, holding him for three weeks without charge.

The US military said Jassam was a "security threat" but the evidence was classified and no full explanation of his detention was given other than that it related to "activities with insurgents".

The Iraqi Central Criminal Court ruled last year that there was no case against Jassam.

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