I'm sorry, but there really is absolutely no excuse for photos like this. It's an AFP photo, so the link should stay good forever, but just in case, it's also archived here.
Seriously: What "news" does this convey? How does this serve the average newsreader?
As Gateway Pundit has pointed out earlier, Essam al-Sudani is actively involved with the Mahdi Army, but the picture above is well beyond all reasonable limits of news gathering, and has clearly moved into the realm of actively assisting a terrorist group.
If I were a news customer, I would demand that the AFP immediately cease all association with Mr. al-Sudani, and that they remove all of his terrorist propaganda from their archives.
Jan-Edward has more thoughts on this. Via Google Translate, he asks:
There has been in recent months and years been much discussion about whether or not to use as a (photo) journalist embedded with a military unit to work.
That is the question arises: Are there also photographers "embedded" with the other warring parties? (For words like 'rebels',' freedom 'and' terrorists' but even aside to let).
Today I ask this question but again on the agenda, following photos AFP photographer Essam al-Sudani through his press office has published.
Those photos show that Essam al-Sudani zastane Sjiitische with fighters of the Mahdi militia in Basra, for example, he photographs at the time it places a roadside bomb. I still get an uneasy feeling in these and other photographs of the said AFP photographer.