Sunday, September 16, 2007
Contributed by Sara
To: U.S. Congress
Sami Al-Haj is a cameraman for Al Jazeera who has been incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay for more than five years. He was seized in December 2001 while on assignment covering the U.S. air strikes in Afghanistan, and was sent to Guantanamo in June 2002. He has been on a hunger strike for more than 230 days and is currently being force-fed using a painful procedure intended to discourage hunger strikes. He is reported to be in critical condition, both physically and mentally.
Sami, who is a Sudanese citizen, has not been charged with any crime. According to his lawyer, the military's interrogations of Sami have focused almost entirely on obtaining intelligence on Al Jazeera and its staff. All the known evidence suggests that Sami's incarceration is part of an ongoing U.S. campaign to punish Al Jazeera for its critical coverage of the Bush Administration and its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. This campaign makes a mockery of U.S. claims to support democratic principles of freedom of expression and freedom of the press throughout the world.
We demand the immediate release of Sami Al-Haj from Guantanamo and his safe return to Sudan.
We also request that Congress investigate possible violations of U.S. and international law by the Bush Administration in its campaign against Al Jazeera, including the six-year incarceration of Sami Al-Haj.