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Journalist arrested by US and Iraqi soldiers in Tikrit

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders condemns the arrest of journalist Ahmed Al-Majoun in a raid by US and Iraqi soldiers on his home in Tikrit (180 km north of Baghdad) early on 24 June 2008. His son was also arrested. Majoun heads a journalists union based in Salah El Din, the province of which Tikrit is the capital. No reason has been given for their arrests.

"We are disturbed to see that, just a few weeks after the arrest of Associated Press cameraman Ahmed Nouri, the armed forces are still not respecting the work of journalists," the press freedom organisation said. "The arrests of Majoun and his son are unjustified. We call on the US forces to say exactly what they are charged with or else release them."

A joint US-Iraqi military unit arrested Majoun and his son at around 2 a.m. (local time) on 24 June after forcing their way into his home using stun grenades that damaged the front door and windows. The organisation Journalistic Freedoms Observatory said the soldiers stayed in the house until dawn. It is believed that Majoun and his son are being held at the US military base in Tikrit. The US military has refused to comment on their arrest.

Nouri, an AP cameraman, has been held at the same base since 4 June despite a joint appeal for his release by Reporters Without Borders and the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory. He was also arrested at his home by US and Iraqi soldiers.

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