he would not be allowed to see an attorney, his family or anyone else for the first 60 days of his detention.
Lieutenant Colonel Rudisill said he was aware of five journalists for major news media in detention, including Mr Mashhadani and another freelance cameraman who has worked for Reuters, as well as a cameraman for the US television network CBS. Journalists for other major international organisations have recently been released without charge after many months in custody.
Reuters soundman Waleed Khaled was killed in Baghdad, apparently by US troops, and cameraman Haider Kadhem, who was wounded in the same incident, has been held ever since by the US military for questioning. Reuters has demanded his immediate release. Iraqi police said US troops fired into the car carrying the Reuters team.
"The Pentagon has threatened to fire on the satellite uplink positions of independent journalists in Iraq, according to veteran BBC war correspondent, Kate Adie.
In an interview with Irish radio, Ms. Adie said that questioned about the consequences of such potentially fatal actions, a senior Pentagon officer had said: "Who cares.. ..They've been warned."
She also warned that the Pentagon is vetting journalists according to their stance on the war, and intends to take control of US journalists' satellite equipment, in order to control access to the airwaves.
Another guest on the show, war author Phillip Knightley, reported that the Pentagon has also threatened they: "may find it necessary to bomb areas in which war correspondents are attempting to report from the Iraqi side."
Reporters Without Borders called on US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld to provide evidence that the offices of the pan-Arab TV station Al-Jazeera and the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad were not deliberately fired at by US forces in attacks that killed three journalists.
"we can only conclude that the US Army deliberately and without warning targeted journalists. US forces must prove that the incident was not a deliberate attack to dissuade or prevent journalists from continuing to report on what is happening in Baghdad,"
"Very many non-embedded journalists have complained about being refused entry to Iraq from Kuwait, threatened with withdrawal of accreditation and being held and interrogated for several hours. One group of non-embedded journalists was held in secret for two days and roughed up by US military police,"
"We don't do body counts," said General Tommy Franks of US Central Command. The question is: what happens to the people who insist on counting the bodies - the doctors who must pronounce their patients dead, the journalists who document these losses, the clerics who denounce them?
In Iraq, evidence is mounting that these voices are being systematically silenced through a variety of means, from mass arrests, to raids on hospitals, media bans, and overt and unexplained physical attacks.
Killings are not the only way to silence journalists. Reporters Without Borders also report that 107 journalists were in prison around the world on January 1 2005. China remains the world's biggest prison for journalists, with 26 detained...
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