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Prisoner 345

Mark Sandell Mark Sandell | 12:45 UK time, Friday, 7 September 2007

Sami Al-hajj is an Al-Jazeera cameraman who's been held at Guantanamo Bay since 2002. Without charge .You can read about his employer's campaign to free "Prisoner 345" here.
Here in Britain, our trade paper for journalists UK Press Gazette
carried a front page appeal from Mr Al-Hajj's lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith in which he says that "Sami Al-Hajj is no more a terrorist than my granny". he also calls on the journalistic community to campaign for his release in the way we- and notably our programme- did for Alan Johnston. That link is taken up here

But things are starting to move. This newspaper in Algeria launched a campaign to get a million signatures for him to be freed, among real fears that his health is deteriorating. The Committee to Protect Journalists
is on the case as is Reporters Without Borders, but with all the above honourable examples, why has it taken so long ?
His lawyer wants him to have a fair trial or be released. A Pentagon review board has recommended he should still be held. This was what a State Department spokesman said at a briefing recently..
""We will not put detainees or our operations at risk by discussing the possibility of transfers or releases before they take place," .
We'll be discussing Mr Al Hajj's plight on today's programme.


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