Journalists concerned for Sami Al-Hajj [Archives:2007/1024/Front Page]

February 12 2007

SANA'A, Feb. 11 ) The Yemeni Journalists Syndicate met Saturday to show solidarity with Al-Jazeera cameraman Sami Al-Hajj, who has been detained at Guantanamo Bay for six years. Numerous journalists, thinkers, men of letters and politicians attended the Sana'a meeting.

“We, the journalists gathered at the syndicate headquarters, announce our full solidarity with our colleague, Sami Al-Hajj,” a syndicate press release stated.

It continued, “We are frustrated at the international community's silence regarding the U.S. administration's lack of commitment to human rights, freedoms and democracy.”

Syndicate Chairman Nasr Taha Mustafa remarked that the fact that Al-Hajj has spent six years in detainment without any charge prompted the syndicate to hold the meeting requesting his immediate release. He further added that imprisoning and killing journalists contradicts all international conventions, as well as divine doctrines.

For his part, syndicate Deputy Chairman Sa'eed Thabet pointed out that Al-Hajj committed no crime when he documented the moment when some children were slaughtered and women's honor was defiled.

Thabet noted that the U.S. has killed many journalists in Iraq, Afghanistan and other areas of the world during the past three years, hinting at incorrect action the U.S. exerts upon media outlets by prior control of what's to be published later.

According to the release, Yemeni journalists consider Al-Hajj's detainment an insult to all journalists worldwide and evidence of the U.S. administration's attempt to hide its barbarism by detaining witnesses.

The release concluded by requesting Al-Hajj's immediate release and calling upon all organizations interested in democracy and human rights to pressure the U.S. administration to free Al-Hajj.