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US military to release detained AP journalist after all charges dismissed

[JURIST] The US military said Monday it plans to release [press release] Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein [AP materials; JURIST news archive] from custody Wednesday. Maj. Gen. Douglas M. Stone, the deputy commanding general for detainee operations, Multi-National Force–Iraq [official website], signed the order approving Hussein's release after confirming that Hussein's conduct fell under Iraq's amnesty law [JURIST report], which was passed in February as part of the national reconciliation effort. A four-member Iraqi judiciary panel dismissed the last remaining charge against Hussein [JURIST report] on Sunday and recommended the US release him from custody immediately.

Hussein has been held by the US military since his arrest in April 2006 for allegedly possessing equipment to construct roadside bombs. In November 2007, the US Department of Defense pushed for terrorism charges against Hussein [JURIST report]. AP has repeatedly called for his release and has accused the military of denying Hussein his due process rights. AP President Tom Curley on Monday applauded news of Hussein's scheduled release [press release], saying "we may never see eye to eye with the US military over this case, it is time for all of us to move on." AP has more.

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