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US kidnaps Al Jazeera reporter

Here's yet another outrageous story that I hadn't even heard of yet. The US military kidnapped a TV cameraman from Arabic network Al Jazeera and is holding him at Guantanamo, will not allow anyone to talk to him, and refuses to say why they're holding him! OK, yes, I knew they had several hundred people they were holding under such conditions, but a TV journalist yet?!! Amazing! Reporters Without Borders is demanding the US immediately explain its behavior.
United States: Detains TV journalist in secret. Reporters Sans Frontieres has urged the US government to explain why a cameraman for Arab satellite channel al-Jazeera is still being held at a US naval base in Cuba nine months after his arrest. Sudanese Sami al-Haj, who had been sent to cover the US military operation in Afghanistan for the Qatar-based TV station, was arrested near the Pakistan border last December and has since sent messages to his wife saying he is at Guantanamo Bay.

Al-Jazeera has confirmed one of its employees is being held at the camp and said Mr Al-Haj's passport was lost in 2000 and may have been used fraudulently by other people.

"It is now in their (the US government's) interest to break their silence in the case." said the RSF general secretary, Robert Menard, in a letter to the US attorney general John Ashcroft. "...we think this continued silence is especially unfortunate because it could be seen as an intention to harass al-Jazeera, which has already been the target of US State Department pressure."

The TV station revealed on 16 September that the US embassy in Qatar promised to ask the US state department for details about Mr al-Haj's detention. However, al-Jazeera has not heard from the embassy since and has not received any replies to its letters.

Guardian Media report.

homepage: homepage: http://www.indexonline.org/indexindex/20020923_unitedstates.shtml

warning: 05.Oct.2003 07:31

this thing here

... if you continue to investigate this story/take pictures, your life will be in danger. your family and children will be threatened as well. cease, end, stop all journalistic activites if you care to live.

the camera man probably filmed something that poses a threat to the bush admin. i'm surprised they went through all the trouble of hauling him half way accross the world when they could have just killed him. like the wsj reporter daniel pearl was killed.

reporters/photographers get taken out if their trails come too close to secrets. though they are like detectives, they have no badge, uniform or authority to hide behind, which makes them easy targets for reprisals and disappearances. and when they die and disappear, so does the story they're working on...

retort 06.Oct.2003 14:54

Clayton

If you have paid much attention to any of the news reports from Iraq, it would seem that Al Jazeera often shows up before attacks happen (like they know they are going to happen or facilitated it). There was a recent report on CNN I believe of an Al Jazeera reporter being arrested in Iraq by the Iraqi police for such activity. While I don't agree with holding anyone without a trial, I can see where they cross the line from reporting to open support or incitement of attacking our military. Perhaps this is how this gentleman ended up being detained. Take a look at their programming sometime and see how biased it is. They espouse hate and intolerance and have the nerve to call it journalism. They have been the main mouthpiece of Osama Bin Laden since he went into hiding. When not playing his tapes they seem to be able to cue up another Saddam Hussein audio tape. Remember the people here who died in the terrorist attacks here and our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan before you feel too sorry for Al Jazeera. They certainly wouldn't extend you the same sympathy. After all we are just part of a Zionist conspiracy in their eyes.