Al-Arabiya reporter released on bail

first_img Follow the news on Iraq December 16, 2020 Find out more Iraq : Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan Organisation RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” Three jailed reporters charged with “undermining national security” February 15, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts News December 28, 2020 Find out more Newscenter_img Help by sharing this information IraqMiddle East – North Africa News News April 11, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Al-Arabiya reporter released on bail to go further IraqMiddle East – North Africa Reporters Without Borders noted the 10 April release of Al-Arabiya journalist Waël Issam two weeks after he was arrested by Iraqi authorities but called for his case to be quickly resolved so he can continue working normally.The satellite news channel reporter was picked up at Baghdad’s international airport carrying videotapes of the former rebel bastion of Falluja, 50 kms west of the capital, and held at an interior ministry, building along with common-law criminals.”Until there is evidence to the contrary, this journalist has committed no offence,” the worldwide press freedom organisation said. “Filming what is happening in a sensitive area, wherever it may be, does not amount to an offence liable to a prison sentence. If he has to go before a court, we urge the Iraqi authorities to show impartiality and demonstrate their commitment to press freedom.”Nejib Bensherif, coordinator for Al-Arabiya in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), told Reporters Without Borders by phone that Issam’s bail had been set at one million Iraqi dinars (about 558 euros).”We still do not know if there is going to be a trial,” he said. “Waël Issam has to remain in Baghdad until we get a decision from the authorities. He will either be definitively discharged or he will be tried. It is already good news that he has been freed. We are optimistic”.”We take complete responsibility for the content of the tapes and we have confidence in our correspondent in Baghdad, Jawad Kadhem, who viewed them and found nothing offensive in them,” said Bensherif.——————- 5 April 2005 – Al-Arabiya journalist held with non-political detainees for the past weekReporters Without Borders wrote to Iraqi interior minister Falah al-Nakib today asking him to do everything in his power necessary for the release of journalist Waël Issam of the Dubai-based, 24-hour satellite TV news station Al-Arabiya, who was arrested at Baghdad international airport on 28 March.Pointing out that the authorities have not given any valid reason for arresting Issam, the press freedom organization voiced astonishment that he is being held in an interior ministry centre with individuals detained for non-political crimes although “it remains to be established that Issam committed any crime.”The letter continued: “At the time of his arrest, the Iraqi police seized videotapes of footage recently shot in Iraq. Jawad Kadhem, a journalist with the Al-Arabiya bureau in Baghdad, quoted Issam as saying the footage contained nothing that could have prompted such a reaction.”We know that Al-Arabiya’s executives and Issam’s mother are in contact with the interior ministry in an attempt to obtain his release. We turn to you today because of the urgency of the situation. Issam’s detention should be terminated because it seems to us to be unwarranted in a country that wants to demonstrate its commitment to development and democracy.”Issam’s release would also help ease relations between the Iraqi authorities and foreign journalists working in Iraq, the letter added.———————–29 March 2005 – Police arrest Al-Arabiya journalistReporters Without Borders voiced concern today about the arrest of journalist Waël Issam of the Dubai-based TV news station Al-Arabiya on 27 March in Baghdad by Iraqi police, who confiscated videotapes containing newly shot footage.”We know that Al-Arabiya’s executives are in touch with the interior ministry and are doing their best to obtain the release of their journalist,” the press freedom organization said. “We hope this case will be resolved as quickly as possible and that the authorities will present valid reasons to explain their action.”Issam, who had been in Iraq for four days, was arrested when he went back to Baghdad airport. He is currently being held in a police station. Agence France-Presse quoted an interior ministry source as saying the seized videotapes included footage shot in the former rebel stronghold of Fallujah. Al-Arabiya did not confirm this.Aged 26, Issam has been working for Al-Arabiya for two years. RSF_en last_img read more