A joint Iraqi-American force arrested an Iraqi cameraman working with the Reuters news agency from his home in Mahmoudiya in Babil Province, south of the Iraqi capital, according to a statement released in Arabic by an Iraqi media rights advocacy group on Tuesday.
Ibrahim Jasim was arrested in a late-night raid on his home in Mahmoudiya, according to his sister’s account.
Ayman Jasim, the sister of told the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory (JFO) that the joint force raided their home in the al-Murtada quarter of the Mahmoudiya after midnight Monday night.
The raiding forces forced all those inside, including her three siblings, to lie on the ground while they investigated their identity cards, she told the JFO.
Ayman Jasim added that an American officer who was leading the joint force asked her brother Ibrahim about his work, and when he learned that the Iraqi worked as a news cameraman for Reuters, “he immediately ordered that he be arrested and confiscated four of his cameras, smashed his personal computer, and confiscated his mobile phone.”
Ibrahim Jasim is now in custody in an unknown location, JFO writes.
The advocacy group notes that Jasim has received repeated threats from unknown parties during his four years of work with Reuters.
This is not the first time that US forces have detained Iraqi staffers of western news agencies, JFO points out, noting the cases of Reuters photographer Ali al-Mashhadani, who was released last month after three weeks in detention, and Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein who had been detained more than two years by American forces before his release in April.
The media rights agency ends its statement with the demand that the Multinational Forces reveal where Jasim is being held and the reasons for his detention, and that the forces work for his immediate release.