Sunday, July 10, 2005

U.S. forces release American held in Iraq


U.S. forces release American held in Iraq

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. forces in Iraq said they had freed an American citizen on Sunday whom they had been holding as a suspected insurgent.

[Besides the brief information in this article, more detailed information can be found in other articles posted earlier today on this subject.]

Iranian-born filmmaker Cyrus Kar was detained by Iraqi troops in May after a search of the taxi he was being driven in uncovered washing machine timers, a common component in improvised bombs, the military added in a statement.

The Pentagon disclosed last week they were holding five U.S. citizens, apparently including the Los Angeles-based U.S. Navy veteran Kar, among more than 10,000 detainees in Iraq.

Kar's relatives told U.S. newspapers that he had gone to Iraq in mid-May to work on a documentary. He was arrested when he was stopped in a taxi in Baghdad by Iraqi security forces.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California had said it had filed a writ of habeas corpus on his behalf.

"Kar was detained as an imperative security threat to Iraq under the authority of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1546," the military said on Sunday.

He was freed after an FBI investigation, which helped determine he was not an "enemy combatant."

"This case highlights the effectiveness of our detainee review process," Brigadier General Don Alston, a U.S. military spokesman, said in the statement. "We followed well established procedures and Mr. Kar has now been properly released."

Kar's cameraman was also released while the taxi driver was still in custody.

Alston said: "We understand this has been difficult for Mr. Kar and his family. However, we owe the coalition forces, Iraqi security forces and Iraqi civilians a thorough investigation."