Reuters protests at US treatment

Reuters has made formal complaints to the US Government and military after three of its journalists were detained and, allegedly, ill-treated by soldiers near Fallujah in Iraq.

“We have made a complaint to both the US military in Iraq and to the US Government in Washington, concerning the detention of our journalists and their treatment,” the news agency said in a statement.

“We have asked for, and are fully co-operating with, the military’s investigation, and are hopeful that it will be resolved in an expeditious manner.”

Reuters says the Iraqi journalists were detained on 2 January and released about 72 hours later.

Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, deputy director of operations for the US Army in Iraq, said: “We are going to hold a thorough investigation on the basis of information provided not only by our troops but also the information provided by the Reuters journalists.”

This latest altercation between Reuters and the Pentagon follows the agency’s demands of US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to see full reports on the deaths of two journalists at the hands of US soldiers in Iraq.

Taras Protsyuk was killed when a tank opened fire on the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad and Masen Dana was shot while filming outside the city.

By Wale Azeez

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