Federation of Journalists has demanded the immediate release of two journalists
imprisoned in Baghdad.
According to the
Iraqi Journalists' Syndicate (IJS), Mohamed Fouad Tawfik, a photographer at the
Iraqi News Agency ANB, and his assistant Afdal Jouma, were arrested and
imprisoned by forces from the Ministry of Defence after being summoned to its
offices under false pretenses on 4 June.
"We call for the
immediate release of these journalists who have been arrested and detained
under false and illegal pretenses and have done nothing to warrant such an action
by the authorities in Iraq," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. "Their detention is a restriction of the
freedom of journalism and media in Iraq and undermines the provisions of the rights of
journalists law, which provides a safe environment for press and media work in
Media reports in Iraq say the Ministry summoned
the two men to their offices because they claimed they wanted to thank them for
returning a notebook that had been lost by Minister of Defence,Saadoun al-Dulaimi. But instead the men
were arrested and over a week later they are still being held.
The Ministry of
Defence has accused the journalists of stealing the notebook, which is believed
to have contained sensitive information, from a political meeting that Minister
al- Dulaimi was attending. They then passed the notebook to the editor of their
media agency, who is alleged to have kept if for three days before returning it
to Minister al-Dulaimi.
The IJS has denounced
the treatment of the two journalists and ask for the Ministry to release them.
"The way the
photographer and his assistant were arrested was scandalous," said IFJ General
Secretary Beth Costa. "We call for the authorities in Iraq to give us clear
answers as to why the two men were imprisoned and release them with immediate
For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries