Pentagon names reporter for Canadian TV “enemy combatant”

Jawed Ahmad, an Afghan journalist for Canada’s CTV network held by the US military four months without charge, has been designated an unlawful enemy combatant, the Pentagon announced. Ahmad was allowed to make a statement before an enemy combatant review board, which determined there was credible information to detain him because he was dangerous to foreign troops and the Afghan government, said Maj. Chris Belcher. Ahmad is being held at the military compound in Bagram, 30 miles north of Kabul.

Ahmad, 22, who is also known as Jojo Yazemi, was detained Oct. 26 at a NATO air base in Kandahar. “CTV news continues to be deeply concerned about Jojo Yazemi’s well-being and we are continuing to work all diplomatic channels available to find out additional information and get Jojo his due process,” CTV News president Robert Hurst said in a statement.

Ahmad’s case is but the latest instance of the US military arresting without charge a journalist in the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq. In most cases, the journalists have been freed. However, Iraqi journalist Bilal Hussein, an Associated Press photographer, has been held by the US military without charge for 22 months. The AP is defending Hussein, saying there is no evidence to support claims he was involved in insurgent activities. (AP, Feb. 28)

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