First there was Taysir Alluni, the Al-Jazeera reporter, who was sentenced to jail for 7 years in 2005 because of an interview he did with Osama Bin Laden in 2001, accused of collaborating with Al-Qaeda.
Then there was Sami Al Haj, the Al-Jazeera cameraman, who was arrested in Pakistan in 2001 while he was going for a journalistic assignment in Afghanistan, and has been held in Guantanamo Bay ever since.
And now, there is Pulitzer prize-winning Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein, who has been imprisoned by the U.S. military in Iraq since April 2006 without a trial or even being charged. The military claimed then that he had suspicious links to insurgents, but now they’re saying that he is a “terrorist” who had “infiltrated the AP.”
In the 19 months since he was picked up, Bilal has not been charged with any crime, with the military sending out a mix of ever-changing, false or overblown claims.
And now even though the military says they’ll be taking him to court in an Iraqi court, there’s still nothing about the date, what charges will be brought against him, what evidence they have or anything.
The common belief is that Bilal’s crime was taking photographs the U.S. government did not want its citizens to see.
Who’s next on the list of journalists, simply doing their job, to be thrown in jail under the claim they’re terrorists, just because they’re Arabs and covering something the US and its allies don’t want covered?