US military jails ‘black holes’, say US lawyers for Afghan reporter

KABUL, July 20, 2008 (AFP) – US human rights lawyers charged Sunday that US military prisons are “legal black holes” and the force is detaining journalists to “shut people up” about activities in Iraq and Afghanistan. A vast detention camp planned for the main US base in Afghanistan will be a “second Guantanamo” where laws do not apply, they said at a press conference about an Afghan reporter in US military custody without charge for nine months.

The US military is holding Jawad Ahmad, who has worked with Canadian Television (CTV), at its detention facility at Bagram north of Kabul on allegations he is an “unlawful enemy combatant.”

Ahmad is among 650 people being held at Bagram without trial, US-based International Justice Network executive director Tina Monshipour Foster told reporters.

“Many people in Afghanistan and in Iraq that have been targeted for detention are local journalists covering the conflict in their own country,” said another prominent US human rights lawyer, Barbara J. Olshansky.

“When the United States detains reporters, photographers, camera operators and holds them for long period without charge for any offence and without trials and without any evidence, we know that part of t