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French-Australian journalist released from Iraqi prison

French-Australian journalist Nadir Dendoune has been released from an Iraqi prison after three weeks in custody, Iraqi and French sources said Thursday. The 40-year-old reporter was jailed in January after taking ‘unauthorised’ photos in Baghdad.


Iraq has freed on bail French-Australian reporter Nadir Nendoune, who was held for three weeks after taking allegedly unauthorised photos in Baghdad, sources announced on Thursday.

"Nadir Dendoune was released," Muayad al-Lami, the head of the Iraqi Journalists' Syndicate, told AFP, adding that the reporter was met by the French ambassador.

Press rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) also said that according to a French embassy source in Baghdad, Dendoune was freed and met by the ambassador.

Middle East specialist Alain Gresh of Le Monde Diplomatique - the magazine which Nendoune was working for when he was arrested - confirmed in an email interview with FRANCE 24 that the 40-year-old reporter had been released. "We received confirmation from the ministry of foreign affairs," he said on Thursday.

Dendoune was arrested in late January while visiting Iraq to compile a series of stories on the upcoming 10th anniversary of the US-led invasion of the country for the monthly magazine.

Iraqi judicial sources claim that Dendoune was arrested carrying a camera with which he took pictures of the Iraqi intelligence service headquarters, army and police.

Dendoune's sister Houria told AFP from Paris, however, that her brother was arrested while taking pictures of a water treatment plant.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

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