Journalist or enemy combatant?by Cathy Wurzer, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Minnesota's 5th District congressman Keith Ellison is calling for a trial for a journalist being detained in Guantanamo. Sami al-Haj was a camera man for the news service Al-Jazeera in 2001 when he was covering the war in Afghanistan.
He was captured by Pakistani authorites, who turned him over to the U.S. military. He was labeled an enemy combatant and is now being held at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Rep. Ellison, a Democrat, has launched his own investigation into Al-Haj's case and says he can't find any evidence to justify Al-Haj's detention. Ellison is asking that the U.S. government put Al Haj on trial,or let him go. The Committee to Protect Journalists has also looked into al-Haj's story. The CPJ is a non-profit group in New York which defends the rights of journalists and promotes press freedom.
MPR's Cathy Wurzer talked with Joel Simon the executive director of the CPJ.