Iraqi snapper Ibrahim Jassam arrested

Ibrahim Jassam, an Iraqi photographer working for Reuters, has been arrested by US forces south of Baghdad. He “posed a threat to security” an army officer told AFP by email. Reuters demand he is either charged or released,

“We are concerned to hear about Jassam’s detention, and urge the US military to either charge or release him once an initial investigatory stage is concluded,” Reuters editor-in-chief David Schlesinger said in a statement. “Any accusations against a journalist should be aired publicly and dealt with fairly and swiftly, with the journalist having the right to counsel and present a defence. Iraqi journalists like Jassam play a vital role in telling this story to the world.” link

Jassam’s photographic equipment has also been confiscated. This arrest comes one month after another Reuters cameraman, freelancer Ali al-Mashhadani, was also detained and held without charge for three weeks. More than 20 journalists have been arrested in Iraq in 2008, according to Reporters without borders. All were released without charge, some after spending months behind bars.

“Simply possessing a camera or a film camera seems to be taken as evidence that some journalists are involved in terrorist networks,” [Reporters without borders] said. “We are baffled by the lack of discrimination by the authorities.” link