Monday, July 9, 2007

Free Sami Al Haj!

Five-and-a-half years ago -- on December 15, 2001 -- U.S. military personnel captured Al Jazeera cameraman Sami Al-Haj while he was en route to Afghanistan in Pakistan. He has since been held, with no criminal charges against him, as an "enemy combatant" in Guantanamo Bay. Sami, who is a Sudanese national with distinctly African features, reported to his attorney who was finally allowed to see him in December of 2005 that:
  • he has been tortured (e.g. forced to remain seated, exposed to the tropical sun, deprived of sleep, subjected to sexual abuse, confined in rooms in which extremely loud music was played, etc.)
  • he has been interrogated with the use of threats more than 130 times
  • he has a throat cancer that is not being treated
Why are the imperialists doing this to a cameraman (besides the fact that he is Arabic, Black, and Muslim)? Here's a hint: according to the London-based Guardian newspaper -- on September 26, 2005 -- U.S. officials offered Sami his freedom if he would agree to spy on Al Jazeera.

In other words the U.S. government claims to support freedom of speech yet it is trying to destroy a news outlet because of its distinctly balanced approach to current events in Western Asia (in March 2003, Al Jazeera was awarded by Index on Censorship -- an international group which campaigns against censorship -- for its "courage in circumventing censorship and contributing to the free exchange of information in the Arab world"). This isn't the first time the U.S. military has struck violently against Al Jazeera:
The U.S. government claims to care about the genocide against Black Sudanese people yet it is torturing at least one Black Sudanese man as I write this.

The U.S. government claims to fight for Democracy and the rule of law yet it is currently holding countless prisoners without due process.

There is no Global Islamic Conspiracy! This is as much a work of racist fiction as was Hitler's Global Judeo-Bolshevist Conspiracy.

For more about Sami:
To sign a petition:

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