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Reuters cameraman held by US military on security grounds

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders calls for the immediate release of Ali Al-Mashhadani, an Iraqi cameraman employed by the Reuters news agency, who was arrested by US troops while visiting the Iraqi parliament press centre in Baghdad's Green Zone on 26 July 2008.

"Mashhadani has been held without charge by the US military since 26 July and must be freed at once," Reporters Without Borders said. "It is unacceptable that US troops arrest a journalist and hold him on security grounds."

The US military said they were detaining Mashhadani because "he has been assessed to be a threat to the security of Iraq and coalition forces." It is believed he is being held at Camp Cropper, a US base near Baghdad airport.

US troops previously detained Mashhadani from August 2005 to January 2006 after examining his camera and finding video and photos of Sunni insurgent activity in the western province of Anbar. He was detained again later in 2006 for two weeks. No charge has ever been brought against him.

Ahmed Nouri, an Iraqi cameraman employed by the Associated Press, was arrested by US troops on 4 June in Tikrit (180 km north of Baghdad), and is still being held on security grounds at a US base in Tikrit.

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