World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

US Military Denies Rights: Jailed Iraqi Journalist

IFJ Condemns US Military over Denial of Rights to Jailed Iraqi Journalist

International Federation of Journalists today backed calls from Reuters news agency for the United States to release Iraqi journalist Ali Omar Abrahem al-Mashhadani who has been held incommunicado in the infamous Abu Grahib prison outside Baghdad for two weeks.

“There is an intolerable denial of basic rights here,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “This man is being denied visitors and there is growing concern about his welfare. The US authorities should reveal what, if anything, he is charged with or free him immediately.”

The IFJ says that Iraqi journalists, even those working for foreign and western news organisations, are being consistently targeted by the US military and that there are rarely proper inquiries into claims of abuse and maltreatment.

Al-Mashhadani is a freelance cameraman and a well-respected member of the news team who has been working for Reuters for a year in Ramadi, capital of Anbar region. His predecessor for Reuters in Ramadi, Dhia Najim, was shot dead during fighting between US Marines and insurgents last year. Colleagues fear that he may be the latest victim of a military prejudice against reporters who respond quickly to incidents that have led to false accusations of journalists being tipped off about insurgent attacks.

A spokesman for the US authorities said this week that detainee operations in Iraq, said al-Mashhadani would not be allowed visitors for another two months.

The IFJ is backing the calls by Reuters Global Managing Editor David Schlesinger who is calling for the US authorities act speedily to clarify with news organisations any suspicions arising from the activities of journalists and to allow access to Mashhadani.

Mashhadani was arrested on August 8 by US Marines who examined his cameras and film during a routine search of his house. “There is nothing in this man’s published work to suggest that he is anything other than an honest professional,” said White. “His treatment adds to our concern that Iraqi journalists are being singled out for unfair treatment.”

A number of Iraqi journalists working for media organisations have been wrongly accused by US forces. Last year, three Iraqis working for Reuters and another with the US network ABC were arrested after arriving swiftly in an area where a helicopter had been shot down near Falluja. They accused US soldiers of sexually and physical abuse during three days of detention before their release. Some Iraqi journalists working for foreign news organisations have been detained for months and some are still in custody.

Two Reuters cameramen, Ukrainian Taras Protsyuk and Palestinian Mazen Dana, have been killed by US troops since the war began two of the14 cases of media staff killed by US soldiers in the conflict that are still unexplained and have been the subject of a global campaign for independent investigations.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

ALSO:

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC