Reuters Says Two of Its Iraqi Journalists Freed by U.S. Troops

By: E&P Staff

Two Iraqi journalists who work for Reuters were freed Sunday by the U.S. military after being held without charge for several months, according to Reuters.

Ali al-Mashhadani, a TV cameraman arrested last August; and Majed Hameed, a correspondent for Reuters and Al Arabiya TV detained last September, are both based in Ramadi — one of the centers of Sunni Arab insurgency. They were freed from Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib prison after being held there and at Camp Bucca, a U.S. jail in southern Iraq.

A freelance cameraman working for Reuters in the northern town of Tal Afar remains in custody. Reuters has urged the U.S. military to free Samir Mohammed Noor, who has been held without charge since his arrest by Iraqi troops at his Tal Afar home seven months ago.

“We are delighted that Ali and Majed are now free although we continue to have grave doubts about the way in which they were held for so long without charge,” said David Schlesinger, global managing editor at Reuters. “We hope that Samir will also be able to rejoin his family soon.”

Reuters and international media-rights groups have repeatedly expressed concern with the long and unexplained detentions of journalists by U.S. troops. They have in particular criticized the military’s refusal to deal more quickly with suspicions apparently arising from reporters’ legitimate activities in covering the insurgency, said Reuters.

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