Firm Secures Release of Associated Press Photographer in Iraq

April 16, 2008

Following a two-year detention by the U.S. military in Iraq absent any formal charges or incriminating evidence, Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein has been released from U.S. military custody after Iraqi judges dropped all legal proceedings against him. Patterson Belknap was retained by the AP to secure Mr. Hussein's release. This work entailed an investigation of the facts in Iraq, negotiations with Iraqi officials and the U.S. military, appearances in Iraqi courts, and extensive interviews of Mr. Hussein at the Camp Cropper detention facility outside Baghdad. Mr. Hussein was arrested in April 2006 and held for the next two years based on vague allegations of association with the Iraqi insurgency. His release resulted from an amnesty law that the Iraq government recently passed that applies both to those convicted of crimes and to those, like Mr. Hussein, who have never been charged with a crime. This amnesty option was pursued simultaneously with the court proceedings.