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Associated Press Calls On US to Release, or Charge Photographer


The Associated Press news agency is calling on the U.S. military to either charge or release one of its photographers, who has been detained for the last five months in Iraq.

In an AP report from New York, the agency's president Tom Curley says the Iraqi photographer, Bilal Hussein, should not be held indefinitely.

Curley says the detention is unacceptable under Iraqi law, the Geneva Conventions or any military procedure.

The agency says the U.S. military has alleged that Hussein is a security threat.

The AP says it received a letter from Army Major General Jack Gardner, who oversees coalition detainees in Iraq. Gardner said Hussein had access to insurgents that went beyond what he called "the normal scope" afforded to journalists.

The news agency says its own review has found no evidence of inappropriate contact with insurgents.

Bilal Hussein is from Fallujah. He covered the U.S.-led offensive in Fallujah in 2004 and has also been stationed in Ramadi. Both are in restive Anbar province.

The agency says it had been working quietly to obtain Hussein's release. But it decided to go public because the U.S. military refused to change its position.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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