Charge or release Afghan journalist, CTV tells U.S.

CTV, a Canadian television network, is doing more than the Canadian government to protect those held in US military custody without charge.

Despite Canada’s failure to help individuals like Omar Khadr, not everyone seems to be standing idly by. In this case an Afghan journalist who has been employed by CTV as a reporter has been detained and held without any charges. So the President of the network has stepped in and demanded that he either be released or charged.

Now we all know this is not likely to have an effect just yet. But I am interested to see if the so-called “power of the media” is able to exert any concrete influence.

The details are as follows:

The 22-year-old was arrested in Kandahar last fall after allegations that he had improper contact with the Taliban, his brother told the Associated Press. Siddique Ahmad said his brother was found to have telephone numbers for Taliban officials and video of insurgent materials. The journalist is being held at Bagram Airbase, the U.S. facility 50 kilometres north of Kabul, and has been visited by the Red Cross.

It is a bit impressive that CTV lawyers are working on the case, because this is a situation where a corporation with deep pockets may be able to go to bat against the US behemoth. If they are willing to work on this and not give up too easily, then they may just prevail.

It is definitely not rare for Western media outlets to use local journalists in these situations.  I’d imagine that any good journalist would probably be trying to track down news from any possible angle as well.  So even if this individual had contact with the Taliban in any way, I wonder if it is in any kind of terrible capacity.  If so, and there is evidence of this, he should most definitely be tried.

Most people would not argue that if someone has indeed committed a crime they should be brought to justice.  The dilemma comes in when an individual is held without being charged.  This type of detention should absolutely be avoided.

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2 Replies to “Charge or release Afghan journalist, CTV tells U.S.”

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