Reporters Without Borders today hailed the release on 11 April of CBS cameraman Abdul Ameer Younis Hussein, who had been held by the US military for a year at Camp Bucca detention centre and Abu Ghraib prison. His release had been expected ever since an Iraqi court ruled on 5 April that there was no evidence against him.
Hussein was filming a ceremony at Mosul university on 5 April 2005 when he was shot in the hip by US troops during an exchange of shots with rebels. He was arrested on the spot and accused of recruiting for the insurgency.
He was the last of several detained journalists to be released.
05.04.2006 Charges dropped against CBS cameraman after a year in US custody
Reporters Without Borders today hailed the news of the imminent release of CBS cameraman Abdul Ameer Younis Hussein after being held by the Americans for a year at Camp Bucca detention centre and Abu Ghraib prison.
The only journalist still detained in Iraq, Hussein was expected to be freed within a few days after an Iraqi court in Mosul ruled today there was no evidence against him. He was returned to Abu Ghraib prison after the hearing.
“We condemn the slowness of the investigation,” the press freedom organisation said. “It is unacceptable that this cameraman spent a year in detention for nothing. The US authorities should have freed him immediately.”
Reporters Without Borders had warned the US military they were making a big mistake when they arrested Hussein in April 2005.
Hussein said: “When they caught me and called me a terrorist, I replied that I was not a terrorist, that I was a news correspondent.” But no one listened to him.
After attending the hearing in Mosul, Hussein’s brother, Mohamed Younis Hussein, said: “I am very happy. It is incredible.”
Hussein was filming a ceremony at Mosul university on 5 April 2005 when he was shot in the hip by US troops during a clash with rebels. He was arrested on the spot and accused of recruiting for the rebels. A US army release said he was being held because he could represent “a serious threat to the coalition forces.” According to CBS, the US military suspected him of being linked to the insurrection because of videotape footage found in his camera.
Other journalists have been held without justification by the coalition forces, including two Reuters journalists who were freed in January after being held for several months without being charged.