US apologises to French TV crew held in Iraq

21st May 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 20 (AFP) - A US officer has formally apologised to a French television crew who were detained for more than 24 hours by US soldiers in the Iraqi capital, the Canal Plus television channel said on Thursday.

PARIS, May 20 (AFP) - A US officer has formally apologised to a French television crew who were detained for more than 24 hours by US soldiers in the Iraqi capital, the Canal Plus television channel said on Thursday.

The four members of the Canal Plus television crew were released on Wednesday.

The channel has called for an inquiry into the incident, said Luc Hermann, an editor for the 90 minutes news programme, which sent the crew to Iraq.

Iraqi police arrested the team, made up of two journalists, a cameraman and their Iraqi driver, as they filmed near a US checkpoint outside Baghdad Hotel in the centre of the capital on Tuesday.

They were handed over to US forces who interrogated them for several hours and kept them handcuffed, according to journalist Michel Despratx.

Hermann said the crew were arrested by "heavily armed" US soldiers and kept blindfolded during their detention, but were not mistreated.

After the crew members were finally released, the US soldiers flatly apologised and took them out for a meal, Hermann said, adding that the crew would remain in Iraq for a few days to complete their report.

Witnesses to the arrest said the group were filming in the Baghdad Hotel area, where large signs written in English and Arabic state that photography is strictly prohibited.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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