Where US Imprisons Journalists: Iraq, Guantanamo
Where The US Imprisons Journalists: Report Calls For Release Of Journalists In Iraq, Guantanamo
PARIS (RSF/Pacific Media Watch): Reporters Sans Frontières (Reporters Without Borders) called on the United States government to free two journalists it said were being unjustly held at a US prison in Iraq, and at the US military base in Guantanamo, Cuba.
RSF said in a report that they and other journalists arrested in Iraq by the US, mainly on suspicion of collaborating with insurgents, had not been tried or even charged with anything after months of incarceration.
Abdel Amir Yunes Hussein, of CBS TV network's program CBS News, has been held at the Camp Bucca prison in Iraq since April last year, while Sami Al-Hajj, a cameraman for the pan-Arab satellite TV station Al-Jazeera, has been a prisoner in Guantanamo since 2002, after being arrested in Afghanistan in 2001.
"These journalists have been denied justice and not allowed to see family or lawyers," the worldwide press freedom organisation said. "This is unacceptable. We call on the US authorities to break their silence" [about their detention] and "reveal the evidence they claim to have of their involvement in illegal activities."
The organisation said it was making five requests to the US Department of Defense under the Freedom of Information Act, each concerning a journalist still in jail or recently freed, and asking officials to provide all material on their cases.
It also appealed to members of the US Congress to continue their efforts to promote human rights in Iraq especially press freedom-and is writing to several senators and members of the House of Representatives, asking them to reiterate their stand against imprisonment of journalists in the US.
Reporters Without Borders, who has written to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, called on Iraqi authorities to use their influence with American authorities to help imprisoned journalists.
PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH ONLINE