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US military refuses to comply with court order to free Reuters photographer

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders deplores the US military's refusal to comply with the Iraqi central criminal court's order to release Reuters photographer Ibrahim Jassam.

Maj. Neal Fisher, a spokesman for detainee operations, said on 10 December 2008 that the US military was not bound by Iraqi court orders and would continue to hold Jassam on the grounds that he posed "a threat to Iraq security."

"You cannot proclaim your commitment to the rule of law in Iraq and at the same time reject Iraqi court decisions," Reporters Without Borders said. "The US military must put an end to this contradiction by freeing Jassam."

Jassam was arrested at his home by US and Iraqi soldiers on 1 September and was taken to the US military at Camp Cropper, near Baghdad airport. On 30 November the Iraqi central criminal court dismissed all charges against him and ordered his release.

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