U.S. imprisons AP photographer without charge

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In summary, an Associated Press photographer, Bilal Hussein, has been imprisoned by the U.S. military in Iraq for five months without any charges or public hearing. Military officials claim he is a security threat, but AP executives have found no evidence of inappropriate contact with insurgents. One of Hussein's photos was part of a Pulitzer Prize-winning package. His lawyer maintains his innocence and believes he has been targeted for his photos of Ramadi and Fallujah. It is not uncommon for journalists to be detained in Iraq, but Hussein's case is unusually long. Another journalist, employed by CBS, was detained for a year before being acquitted due to lack of evidence. The military has not provided concrete evidence or allowed Hussein to defend himself.
  • #1
The U.S. military in Iraq has imprisoned an Associated Press photographer for five months, accusing him of being a security threat but never filing charges or permitting a public hearing.

Military officials said Bilal Hussein, an Iraqi citizen, was being held for "imperative reasons of security" under United Nations resolutions. AP executives said the news cooperative's review of Hussein's 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.
One of Hussein's photos was part of a package of 20 photographs that won a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography last year. His contribution was an image of four insurgents in Fallujah firing a mortar and small arms during the U.S.-led offensive in the city in November 2004.
Hussein proclaims his innocence, according to his Iraqi lawyer, Badie Arief Izzat, and believes he has been unfairly targeted because his photos from Ramadi and Fallujah were deemed unwelcome by the coalition forces.

His Pulitzer-winning contribution:
http://www.pulitzer.org/year/2005/breaking-news-photography/works/warzone 015.jpg
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  • #2
Executives said it's not uncommon for AP news people to be picked up by coalition forces and detained for hours, days or occasionally weeks, but never this long. Several hundred journalists in Iraq have been detained, some briefly and some for several weeks, according to Scott Horton, a New York-based lawyer hired by the AP to work on Hussein's case.

Horton also worked on behalf of an Iraqi cameraman employed by CBS, Abdul Ameer Younis Hussein, who was detained for one year before his case was sent to an Iraqi court on charges of insurgent activity. He was acquitted for lack of evidence.

AP officials emphasized the military has not provided the company concrete evidence of its claims against Bilal Hussein, or provided him a chance to offer a defense.
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  • #3

I am deeply concerned by the imprisonment of Bilal Hussein without charge or due process. It is a violation of basic human rights and raises questions about the U.S. military's actions in Iraq.

Firstly, the lack of charges and public hearing raises concerns about the legitimacy of his imprisonment. Without clear evidence and a fair trial, it is difficult to determine whether or not Hussein is actually a security threat. This goes against the principles of justice and due process.

Furthermore, the fact that Hussein's work as a journalist was deemed unwelcome by coalition forces raises concerns about the freedom of press in Iraq. Journalists play a crucial role in informing the public and holding those in power accountable. Any attempt to silence or intimidate them is a threat to democracy and transparency.

I believe in the importance of evidence-based decision making. The AP's review of Hussein's work did not find anything to suggest inappropriate contact with insurgents. If there is any evidence against him, it should be brought to the Iraqi criminal justice system, where he can have a fair trial.

Lastly, the fact that Hussein's photo was part of a Pulitzer Prize-winning package raises even more questions about the justification for his imprisonment. It is concerning that someone who has been recognized for their work as a journalist is now being held without charges.

In conclusion, the imprisonment of Bilal Hussein without charge is a troubling and concerning issue. It is important that the U.S. military provides a transparent and fair process for determining his alleged security threat and allows him the opportunity to defend himself. As scientists, we must stand for the protection of human rights and the freedom of press in all circumstances.

Related to U.S. imprisons AP photographer without charge

What is the background of the U.S. imprisoning an AP photographer without charge?

The U.S. government has a history of detaining individuals without charge or trial, particularly in the context of national security. In this case, AP photographer Bilal Hussein was detained by the U.S. military in Iraq in 2006 and held for two years without being charged with a crime.

Why was the AP photographer detained by the U.S. military?

The U.S. military alleged that Hussein had links to insurgent groups and was involved in terrorist activities. However, no evidence was presented to support these claims and Hussein maintained his innocence throughout his detention.

What were the implications of the U.S. imprisoning an AP photographer without charge?

This case raised concerns about the U.S. government's use of indefinite detention without charge or trial, which is considered a violation of human rights and due process. It also highlighted the challenges faced by journalists and media workers in conflict zones.

What was the outcome of this case?

In 2008, after two years of detention, Hussein was released without being charged with a crime. The U.S. military stated that they did not have enough evidence to prosecute him. However, Hussein's detention had a significant impact on his life and career as a journalist.

What measures have been taken to prevent similar cases in the future?

Following this case, the U.S. government implemented new policies and procedures to regulate the detention of individuals in conflict zones. These include periodic reviews of detainee cases and a presumption of innocence until proven guilty. However, concerns about the use of indefinite detention without charge or trial remain.

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