Sunday, September 06, 2009

US imprisons reporter

ibrahim jassam

Since the start of September 2008, Reuters reporter Ibrahim Jassim has been held by the US military in Iraq. In November 2008, Iraqi courts decided Ibrahim should be set free. The US ignored the court order and has continued to imprison Ibrahim.

As the US government pretends to encourage press freedoms, their continued and illegal imprisonment of a reporter is highly telling. Around the world, people are taking notice. To the point that Sri Lanka laughs at the hypocrisy. Yes, even Sri Lanka. From Daya Gamage's "Iraqi journalist under U.S. custody without trial but, Us critical of Tissanayagam jail sentence in Sri Lanka" (Asian Tribune):

The United States criticized Sri Lanka Monday, August 31 for sentencing to 20 years in prison an ethnic Tamil journalist by Sri Lanka's judiciary after an open trial. "We were disappointed to learn of the verdict and the severity of the sentence," State Department deputy spokesman Robert Wood said at the daily media briefing after a Sri Lankan court handed down the sentence against J.S. Tissainayagam.

The United States' criticism of Sri Lanka which gave due process of the law to Tissanayagam came at a time when an Iraqi photo-journalist Ibrahim Jassam lies in U.S. military custody in Iraq since 02 September 2008 without trial and denying him the due process of the law.

The US slammed Sri Lanka for their lack of due process . . . while they refuse due process to Ibrahim. Richard Becker (Party of Socialism and Liberation) observes:

While the U.S. government holds Jassam without charge, the corporate mass media here has ignored his case or given it short shrift -- in sharp contrast with their massive campaign on behalf of two recently released U.S. journalists, Euna Lee and Laura Ling. Lee and Ling were held for four months in North Korea (DPRK) earlier this year. The highest U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama joined in. Non-stop and highly emotional coverage was standard fare on every network. Countless "human rights" organizations in the United States made the case their highest priority.
Coincidentally, on the day marking the anniversary of Jassam’s jailing, Lee and Ling released an account of their arrest and imprisonment in the DPRK. They admit in the report that they had, in fact, illegally crossed from China into North Korea, a country with which the United States is still at war. (Associated Press, Sept. 2) A 1953 truce ended major combat in the U.S. war against Korea -- which took more than four million Korean lives -- but no peace treaty has ever been signed. Tens of thousands of U.S. troops remain in South Korea today.
Lee and Ling were pardoned and released from their 12-year prison sentences for illegally entering North Korea and espionage after former President Bill Clinton traveled to the DPRK's capital, Pyongyang, to meet with President Kim Jong-Il. While in custody, Lee and Ling were allowed continual phone contact with their families in the United States. Their return to the United States and reunification with family and friends was shown for days on CNN, Fox, CBS, ABC, and the list goes on.
The Obama administration and the mass media conducted a similar campaign for Roxana Saberi, a writer who was arrested, convicted and then released by Iran.

Ibrahim was imprisoned under Bully Boy Bush. He remains imprisoned under Bully Boy Barack. No change.
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