France calls Iraq to immediately release detained French journalist in Baghdad
Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) France called the Iraqi Government to immediately release the detained French journalist, Nadir Dendoune in Baghdad.
The spokesperson of the French Foreign Affairs Ministry stated in a press conference “We recalled the Iraqi authorities to immediately release Dendoune who was arrested on the 23rd of January in Baghdad for taking snapshots without permission.”
“We also called to respect Dendoune’s right to allow the French Embassy to visit him because a former visit was canceled,” he added, noting that “The new visit that is supposed to be done on the 9th of February was cancelled where the Counsel and the Doctor’s visit was the first one to Dendoune.
The French government informed the Iraqi government over its surprise for arresting the French journalist, Nadir Dendoune, in Baghdad.
A French diplomatic source stated ” The French Ambassador to Iraq visited the head of the office of the Premier, Nouri al-Maliki, and expressed the surprise of the French government over arresting Dendoune” noting that “France will adhere to all means to release him as soon as possible.”
Dendoune was arrested for taking photos without permission in Baghdad.
Dendoune, 40, was arrested late on January while visiting Iraq to compile a series of stories on the upcoming 10th anniversary of the US-led invasion of the country for French monthly magazine Le Monde Diplomatique. Muayad al-Lami, the head of the Iraqi Journalists’ Syndicate stated to IraqiNews.com “The police forces questioned Dendoune and he should be presented before a judge,” noting that “Hopefully he will be released this week.”
Lami assured that he visited Dendoune on Saturday, and a doctor from the French embassy checked the journalist and found him to be in good health. The journalists’ syndicate chief said “Dendoune, who also holds Australian and Algerian nationalities, was arrested for taking pictures in south Baghdad of a military checkpoint and a hospital.” Dendoune’s sister Houria told sources from Paris “Dendoune was arrested while taking pictures of a water treatment plant.” Journalists in Baghdad are required to seek prior approval from the capital’s security command centre in order to take photographs at checkpoints and of members of the security forces.