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Another journalist held by US military

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders has voiced concern about the continuing detention of Rashid Majid Al-Sari, the editor of the biweekly newspaper "Al-Fatah", who was arrested by United States troops at his Baghdad home on 18 January 2008.

"Five days have gone by and we still do not know why Sari was arrested," the press freedom organisation said. "Unfortunately there has been no letup in arbitrary arrests and searches by US soldiers. Several journalists detained in the past ended up being freed without ever being tried or convicted of anything. One who is still in detention, Bilal Hussein, was recently taken before the Iraqi judicial authorities after being held by the Americans for 19 months. We call on the US authorities to either produce evidence against Sari or free him at once."

It is not known where Sari was taken after US soldiers arrested him at his home in the northeast Baghdad district of Al-Shaab on 18 January, replaces: confiscating his computer and personal files. His colleagues think he could have been taken to the Al-Shaab military base.

His newspaper, "Al-Fatah", is affiliated with Sayyid Al-Shuhada, a Shiite party founded in 1991 which is calling for a federal system in Iraq.

Hussein, a 36-year-old photographer employed by the Associated Press, has been held by the US military since April 2006. The US defence department waited until November 2007 before formally filing a complaint against him before a Baghdad court, which is supposed to issue a ruling on the case soon. Hussein is being held at Camp Cropper, near Baghdad airport (see IFEX alerts of 10 December, 21 November, 26 July, 9 May and 12 April 2007, and others).

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