WHAT WAR BRINGS: imprisoning journalists without charges
This blog post will cover some of the journalists who were detained by US authorities, that is, the
Right now, the
Ibrahim Jassam, a cameraman and photographer for the Reuters news agency, stepped forward, one of this brothers recalled. "Take me if you want me, but please leave my brothers." The soldiers rifled through the house, confiscating his computer hard drive and cameras. And then they led him away, handcuffed and blindfolded. That was Sept. 2. [in 2008 – dancewater] Jassam, 31, has been in
custody ever since. His case is the latest of a dozen detentions the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists has documented since 2001. U.S.
No formal accusations have been made against Jassam, and an Iraqi court ordered in November that he be released for lack of evidence. But the
military continues to hold him, saying it has intelligence that he is "a high security threat," said Maj. Neal Fisher, spokesman for detainee affairs. U.S.
Mr. Jassam is still in prison in
This, from the same article, is what Committee to Protect Journalists has to say:
U.S.has routinely used the arbitrary powers it assumed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorism attacks to hold journalists without charge in Iraq, as well as Afghanistanand , the Committee to Protect Journalists said. Pakistan
None of the detained journalists has been convicted of any charge, undermining the
' reputation when it comes to criticizing other countries on issues of press freedom, committee executive director Joel Simon said. United States
And here is how his brother says Mr. Jassam is doing in prison:
Jassam's brother, Walid, visited him recently in
Camp Bucca, the desolate, tented U.S.prison camp in the desert in southern , and found him close to the breaking point. Iraq
"He used to be handsome, but now he's pale and he's tired," said Walid, who says his brother had no ties to insurgents. "Every now and then while we were talking, he would start crying. He was begging me: 'Please do something to get me out of here. I don't know what is the charge against me.'
"I told him we already tried everything."
Here are some more examples of journalists who were imprisoned without charges for long periods of time by the
Sami Haj, a cameraman for the TV network Al Jazeera, was detained by Pakistani authorities as he tried to cross into
Jawed Ahmad (Jojo) was an Afghan reporter working for Canadian media outlet CTV who was arrested by American troops and declared an unlawful enemy combatant, while working with NATO at Kandahar Airport on October 26, 2007.
Ahmad was then held in military custody at the detention facility at the United States Air Base in Bagram,
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, which included more than 47,000 foreign troops, resorted to increasingly heavy-handed tactics, leading to civilian casualties and eroding the government’s popularity and political control. The case of a local journalist who was jailed for 11 months by the
military reflected the sort of tactics that sowed discontent. Afghan journalists told CPJ that they were angered by the military’s handling of the case. U.S.
The above is just a sampling. The Committee to Protect Journalists put this in their 2008 report on
Over the last five years, dozens of journalists--mostly Iraqis--have been detained by
troops without charge, according to CPJ research. In at least 12 cases, journalists were held for prolonged periods in U.S. . No charges have been substantiated in any of the cases. Iraq
So, is it ‘detaining’ or ‘kidnapping’ if there are no charges? It seems to me that if the authorities are not going to follow the law and consistently abuse human rights, then they are no longer detaining people. They are just criminal kidnappers.
But, OH BOY, that does not stop the US Government under the Bush administration and the Obama administration, from being total and complete hypocrites about the detaining of journalists. Just recently, an American-Iranian journalist named Roxana Saberi was arrested, tried, and convicted of espionage in
So, we have an arrest, charges, trial – and prison sentence. And in the trial there was evidence presented (she had official papers found on her) that at least indicated that the charges were legitimate.
The Obama administration harshly criticized
for its imprisonment of Roxana Saberi, the U.S.-Iranian journalist who was convicted of espionage and sentenced to eight years in prison before being freed two weeks ago. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton criticized Iran 's treatment of Saberi as "non-transparent, unpredictable and arbitrary." Iran
Of course, the same thing is repeating itself in
But we surely don’t have any moral ground to tell other countries what to do.
If you support the continued occupation of