Afghanistan - US military accuses Afghan reporter of being "enemy combatant"



    MONTREAL, Feb. 28 /CNW Telbec/ - Reporters Without Borders voiced concern
today at the US military's designation of Jawed Ahmad, a young Afghan
journalist employed by the Canadian television network CTV, as an "enemy
combatant."
    "If the US military is going to make this kind of accusation, it should
be based on material evidence and not just the findings of a mysterious panel
of interrogators," the press freedom organisation said. "We once again fear
that the US military is confusing journalistic work with spying for the
Taliban."
    Maj. Chris Belcher, a spokesman for the US military in Afghanistan,
yesterday told reporters that 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."
    Belcher added: "As an unlawful enemy combatant, he posed a threat to
coalition forces and the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
Mr. Ahmad was in no way targeted because of his work as a journalist." A US
defence department spokesman told Reporters Without Borders that Ahmad's case
would be reviewed regularly but he refused to offer any details about reasons
for his detention. Ahmad has been held at Bagram military base, 50 km north of
Kabul, since November.

    http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=25804




For further information:

For further information: Katherine Borlongan, secretary general,
Reporters Without Borders, (514) 521-4111, Cell: (514) 258-4208, Fax: (514)
521-7771, rsfcanada@rsf.org

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