French journalist detained in Iraq

Baghdad, Jan 31 (IANS) A French journalist has been held here in the Iraqi capital for taking pictures without prior permission, Xinhua reported Thursday.

"Iraqi police arrested last week a French journalist in Baghdad for taking pictures without getting official permission," the Baghdad-based Journalistic Freedom Observatory (JFO) said in a statement.

Nadir Dendoun, correspondent of French monthly magazine Le Monde Diplomatique, was held at one of the capital's prisons, it said. He was arrested while taking pictures in Baghdad's southern district of Doura.

JFO has urged the Iraqi government to immediately free Dendoun.

It also demanded an official apology to the journalist for the arrest, saying that such an act "is dangerous to the reputation of Iraq".

JFO asked Iraq to allow local and foreign journalists to "work without prior permission from the security authorities".

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