The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.

U.S. troops arrest Iraqi newspaper editor

by Chris Shumway

Aug. 2, 2004 – US forces arrested Dr. Muthana Harith Al-Dhari, editor of the Iraqi newspaper Al-Basaer, shortly after he gave a live television interview Monday morning. According to Amar Abd Al-Karim, who was with Al-Dhari when the arrest took place, US forces stopped Al-Dhari's convoy and took him into custody after he left the studio of the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation in Baghdad. Al-Dhari was reportedly on his way to the headquarters of the Association of Muslim Scholars, an influential Sunni organization that employs him as a media officer.

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"A US patrol emerged suddenly and stopped our convoy. They searched the cars, and then asked us to step aside and called for reinforcements," Al-Karim told Aljazeera. He also said that US troops using some sort of detection devices "gave us body scans" and said that Al-Dhari was being arrested because he had residue from explosives on his hands.

Al-Karim said the group was enraged at the US's allegations and stressed that Dr. Al-Dhari had just been a guest in a TV interview. "The US soldiers at the scene told us either we shut up, or we would be arrested with Dr. Al-Dhari," Al-Karim said.

Sabah Ahmad, a manager at Al-Basaer, said he would ask media unions inside and outside Iraq to call on the US to free Al-Dhari. "It appears that he was arrested for saying something in a broadcast interview that the US occupation authorities did not like," Ahmad speculated.

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The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.


Chris Shumway is a contributing journalist.

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