Reuters condemns 'woeful' US inquiry into arrest of staff

Reuters has called for the reopening of a US military investigation into the detainment and treatment of three of its staff in Iraq.

It has described the inquiry into the incident, in which two journalists and their driver were arrested and held for 72 hours, as “woefully inadequate”.

In a letter to the US Defense Department, Reuters global managing editor David Schlesinger said: “The military’s conclusion of its investigation without even interviewing the alleged victims, along with other inaccuracies and inconsistencies in the report, speaks volumes about the seriousness with which the US Government is taking this issue.”

He called for the investigation to be reopened by senior staff and conducted with a more objective and thorough approach.

Although the report denied claims that the Reuters staff were ill-treated, it conceded they were “purposefully put under stress”, including sleep deprivation and uncomfortable treatment.

The military has launched an inspection of all of its temporary detention facilities in western Iraq.

By Sarah Boden

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