US releases Iraqi journalist

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The US military freed a Reuters photographer in Iraq yesterday, 17 months after snatching him from his home in the middle of the night and placing him in military detention without charge.

They have never explained why they detained him and held him for so long, saying the evidence against him was classified. Ibrahim Jassam Mohammed, worked for Reuters as a freelance television cameraman and photographer. "How can I describe my feelings?

This is like being born again," he said as he was reunited with his family. US and Iraqi forces smashed in the doors of Mr Mohammed's house in Mahmudiya in September 2008 and whisked him away to Camp Bucca, a desert prison on the Iraq-Kuwait border. The photographer is one of several Iraqi journalists working for foreign news organisations who have been detained by the US military, often for months at a time. None has ever been charged. The military claimed last year that Mr Mohammed was a "security threat" because of "activities with insurgents", but they gave no details. The term "insurgents" generally refers to Sunni Islamist groups. Mr Mohammed is a Shia Muslim.