Thursday, February 1, 2007

Associated Press Photographer Still Imprisoned

An AP Photographer named Bilal Hussein was imprisoned April 12th, 2006 in Iraq by the US military for being a "security threat" without allowing him to have a trial or public hearing. Tom Curley, AP president and CEO, has issued a formal response (here), demanding that he either be charged or released, and that "indefinite detention is not acceptable."

"AP executives said an internal review of his work did not find anything to indicate inappropriate contact with insurgents, and any evidence against him should be brought to the Iraqi criminal justice system."

Hussein, an Iraqi Civilian, has taken controversial photos of Iraqi insurgent attacks - leading some journalists to believe he may be working with Al Queda.

However, no charges have been filed, and US military officials say they are keeping him held for "imperative reasons of security."

AP staffers are outraged.
Bilal Hussein is one of an estimated 14,000 people detained by the U.S. military worldwide -- 13,000 of them in Iraq. They are held in limbo where few are ever charged with a specific crime or given a chance before any court or tribunal to argue for their freedom. In Hussein's case, Curley and other AP executives say, the military has not provided any concrete evidence to back up the vague allegations they have raised about him.

It is estimated that over 100 over those people held are under 18.

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