Reporters Without Borders and the newly-formed Nadir Dendoune Support Committee call for the immediate release of Nadir Dendoune, a visiting reporter with French, Algerian and Australian triple nationality who has been held in a Baghdad prison for the past eight days.
Dendoune arrived in Iraq on 16 January to do a series of reports for the French monthly Le Monde Diplomatique and the magazine Le Courrier de l’Atlas. According to the French foreign ministry, he was arrested on 23 January while photographing a water installation in the southwest Baghdad neighbourhood of Dora.
He has been held ever since without being charged. Officially, he is alleged to have been taking photos of sensitive locations without permission. He has not yet been allowed to receive a visit from French consular officials based in Baghdad although a request has been made by the French embassy. He managed to call a friend in France yesterday to report that he had been jailed.
Reporters Without Borders and its partner organization in Iraq, the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory, wrote yesterday to Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki requesting more information about the circumstances of Dendoune’s arrest and the charges against him.
The letter was handed in directly to the Iraqi authorities in Baghdad. The two organizations asked the prime minister to do everything in his power to ensure that Dendoune is released as soon as possible.