Jassam, left, a freelancer who worked for Reuters, was arrested on
September 2, 2008, by U.S and Iraqi forces during a raid on his home in
Mahmoodiya, south of
"We welcome the release of Ibrahim Jassam but we remain
deeply concerned by the lack of due process exercised in this and similar, previous
Pentagon spokeswoman Patricia Johnson told CPJ today that Jassam "was detained as a security threat in September 2008 as the result of activity with an insurgent organization." She said that while he was never charged, the military found that "there was intelligence evidence against him," without specifying what the evidence was.
“I am very pleased his long incarceration without charge is finally over,” said Reuters Editor-in-Chief David Schlesinger. “I wish the process to release a man who had no specific accusations against him had been swifter.”
In November 2008,
the Iraqi Central Criminal Court ruled there was no evidence to hold Jassam and
CPJ has repeatedly denounced the U.S military’s practice of detaining journalists without charging them with a crime or providing them with due process. On several occasions, CPJ has raised the matter with officials at the White House and the Department of Defense, including in a letter sent to President Barack Obama and in a meeting in December 2009 with National Security Advisor Gen. James L. Jones. In each case, CPJ lobbied for Jassam’s immediate release.
documented 14 cases in which journalists have been held by
EDITOR'S NOTE: The original alert was modified in the fourth paragraph to update with the Pentagon’s response.