One Year Later, Reuters Iraqi Photojournalist Still in Military Prison

By: Daryl Lang Iraqi photojournalist Ibrahim Jassam remains in a military prison in Iraq a year after his Sept. 2, 2008 arrest. U.S. officials insist he remains a security threat, despite an order last year by an Iraqi court order that he be released.

Jassam is a freelance photographer and cameraman from Mahmudiya, south of Baghdad, who works for Reuters.

In a story published today, Reuters reports that there are no specific charges against Jassam, though the U.S. military says he remains a threat because of unspecified activities with insurgents.

Reuters officials expressed frustration at the lack of specific charges. "Ibrahim Jassam has never been charged by the U.S. military or the Iraqi authorities, and has never had a single piece of evidence or even a specific allegation of wrongdoing presented to him," Thomson Reuters deputy general counsel Thomas Kim says in the story.

The U.S. military has detained Iraqi journalists before, including Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein, who was released in April 2008 after being held for two years without charge. Coalition forces held Reuters photographer and cameraman Ali Omar Abrahem al-Mashhadani without charge for five months before releasing him in January 2006.

This year the U.S. has been scaling back its massive security detainee program in Iraq, releasing some prisoners no longer deemed a threat and turning others over to Iraqi authorities. Jassam is the only journalist still being held by the U.S. in Iraq, according to Reporters Without Borders.

-- Nielsen Business Media


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