The U.S. army in Iraq has been holding an Associated Press photographer without charges since April, the agency reported on Monday.Reply
U.S. forces arrested Bilal Hussein, an Iraqi citizen, in the Iraqi city of Ramadi on April 12, AP said.
Military officials claim that the 35-year-old photographer is being detained for “imperative reasons of security” under the United Nations resolutions.
"The information available establishes that he (Hussein) has relationships with insurgents and is afforded access to insurgent activities outside the normal scope afforded to journalists conducting legitimate activities," according to a May 7 e-mail sent to AP by the U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Jack Gardner, who oversees all detainees in Iraq.
However, the military didn’t provide any concrete evidence to back up the vague allegations they have raised about him, AP executives said.
Kathleen Carroll, AP's executive editor, says that Hussein’s capture along with a group of rebels doesn’t make him one of them.
"Journalists have always had relationships with people that others might find unsavory," she said. "We're not in this to choose sides, we're to report what's going on from all sides."
AP officials also say that their own examination of Hussein’s work “had produced no evidence that he had done anything to justify holding him" and that they are making their request to free him public because all other efforts to secure his release failed.
"Bilal Hussein has been held in violation of Iraqi law and in disregard to the Geneva Conventions. He must be charged under the Iraqi system or released immediately," said Tom Curley, AP president and chief executive.
Hussein, who has been working for AP since September 2004, insists that he’s innocent, according to his Iraqi lawyer, Badie Arief Izzat.
He also believes that he’s been unfairly targeted because his photos from Ramadi and Fallujah were deemed unwelcome by the occupation forces.
Hussein is one of a number of Iraqi journalists held by the U.S. without charge since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The New York-based Committee to protect journalists said it documented seven such cases in 2005.
He is also one of an estimated 14,000 people detained by the U.S. army worldwide – 13,000 of them in Iraq. They are being held without charges of a specific crime or given a chance before any court or tribunal to argue for their freedom.
09-20-2006, 02:15 AM
The journalists in Gaza who were kidnaped were beig held without charges as well. But then again, two wrongs don't make a right.Reply
09-20-2006, 04:26 PM
Originally Posted by sonz
Yep! I know exactly how that feels!!! I've been trying to write a paper for the last six months and it's been one hastle after the next trying to figure out exactly where they draw the line on 'permissable' material. That, and they keep changing these undefined rules of theirs to suit their moods.
But you know what? I've hit my sh*t-limit with them all... I'm going to just write the thing and be done with it. I'm sick of the interference. If I feel a need to critique and I can name the reasons why, I shouldn't be silenced just because the points I make are good ones - and that seems to be what their deal is. Anyone who makes a decent argument against the U.S. involvement in Iraq, or against it's government, are punished.
Growl, Hiss: "outside the normal scope afforded to journalists
" - DEFINE "NORMAL SCOPE
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