Al-Jazeera journalist held at Guantanamo

first_img Follow the news on United States News Reporters Without Borders called on US officials to urgently say why they are still holding Sami al-Haj, an assistant cameraman of the Qatar-based TV station Al-Jazeera, at the US naval base in Guantanamo, Cuba, nine months after his arrest. “It is quite irregular for the US authorities to refuse to tell the journalist’s family and friends what the charges are against him,” the organisation said in a letter to US attorney-general John Ashcroft (photo). “It is now in their interest to break their silence in the case,” said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard, “Without questioning why he was arrested, we think this continued silence is especially unfortunate because it could be seen as an intention to harass Al-Jazeera, which has already been the target of US State Department pressure.” Since Al-Haj’s arrest on 15 December last, the station has tried through diplomatic channels to get news of him and obtain his release. It said on 16 September that the US embassy in Doha (Qatar) had promised in June to ask for details from the State Department about his detention. Since then the station had heard nothing and its letters to the embassy had not been answered. Al-Haj (photo), who is Sudanese, had been working for Al-Jazeera since last October as an assistant cameraman. He was sent to cover the US military operation in Afghanistan and was arrested in southern Afghanistan, near the Pakistani border. He has sent messages to his wife saying he is being held at Guantanamo. The station said he had lost his passport in 2000 and that it may have been fraudulently used by other people. About 600 prisoners of 43 nationalities, all suspected of having links with Al-Qaeda, which is blamed for the attacks on 11 September last year in New York and Washington, are being held at Guantanamo. Last October 3, US secretary of state Colin Powell asked Qatari ruler Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, as Al-Jazeera’s main shareholder, to see that the station changed its allegedly biased reporting of events. A month later, the US military bombed the station’s offices in Kabul, saying Al-Qaeda people were reportedly hiding there. Despite promises to the station, the US authorities have never investigated the incident. Al-Jazeera has several times broadcast video recordings of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin-Laden. WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalists RSF_en June 7, 2021 Find out more United StatesAmericas News Reporters Without Borders called on US officials to urgently say why they are still holding Sami al-Haj, an assistant cameraman of the Qatar-based TV station Al-Jazeera, at the US naval base in Guantanamo, Cuba, nine months after his arrest. June 3, 2021 Find out more September 20, 2002 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Al-Jazeera journalist held at Guantanamo News News Facebook’s Oversight Board is just a stopgap, regulation urgently needed, RSF says NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say United StatesAmericas Organisation Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information to go further April 28, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Students get ready for finals week, search for open study space

first_imgFor some students, end of the semester responsibilities make Christmastime feel anything but the most wonderful time of the year. Students across Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s campuses cope with these demands using different strategies and methods. St. Mary’s sophomore Bryanna Hillary strives to tackle assignments in advance of due dates to avoid the stress of last minute rushes. “I need to confront stress right away so that I can avoid the building up of it,” she said. “I’ll write a paper as soon as it’s assigned even if it’s not due for a month just so I won’t have to think about it.” Many of Hillary’s peers, like sophomore Jordan Diffenderfer, are less eager to cross things off the to-do list. “I just pretend that I am not stressed,” she said. “[I] put it off and then I have a lot to do hours before it is due.” Notre Dame senior Mike Rodio said he’s learned to better deal with finals stress over the years, but doesn’t necessarily have time to start work earlier. “Generally, I used to be a lot more stressed out around finals, freshman and sophomore year, but now I kind of realize that you can be stressed or you can be totally relaxed about it, but the work remains the same,” he said. Rodio said finding a quiet study spot around finals time is difficult, so he steers clear of the usual locations. “I don’t even bother with LaFun or the library because not only are they crowded but they kind of have that stressed out feeling,” he said. He said he prefers to study in the basement of Keenan Hall, where there are fewer distractions. “There’s no windows so you don’t realize how late it is when the sun is coming up and you’re still finishing your paper,” Rodio said. “If I were to go to anywhere else I’d go to the music rooms in Crowley.” Notre Dame senior Kelsey Clemson said the key to effective study is constantly rotating your studying location. “The change of surroundings helps me to stay on task and not feel like I’m being punished by having timeout in the library or something,” she said. “Also for test-takers, changing where you study actually helps you to have better memory retrieval during tests.” St. Mary’s junior Mary Parks said keeping workspaces open later at the College would make last minute work more manageable. She said for late night crammers, finding a study space can be a challenge. “I think my stress level would decrease if the library could be open past midnight, even if only during the last week of classes and finals week,” she said. While Saint Mary’s may not cater to the procrastinating set, the College will be offering numerous study break options next week. Saint Mary’s Annual Finals Week Late Night Breakfast, a complimentary meal prepared for students by faculty, administrators and staff, will be offered Monday. Notre Dame will hold its 2011 Study Break in South Dining Hall next Monday, 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. Students can enjoy a pause from studying with school-themed snacks, games, coloring and origami. From now through the last day of finals, the Hesburgh Library will be open 24 hours a day. From Dec. 12 to Dec. 14 the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore, Leep Varsity Shop and Irish Hockey Shop will hold Student Appreciation Days, offering coffee for 50 cents and a 10 percent discount on most items. For those students hoping for some divine intervention, the Office of Civil and Social Engagement at St. Mary’s is sponsoring the 12 Days of Christmas, which will include nightly Advent Vespers in the Regina Chapel at 6:45 p.m. and a craft show Saturday night. Carrie Call, director for the office, said the show offers students an opportunity to take a break from books and to take in some retail therapy. “[The craft show] is a fabulous way to reduce your stress, get away from studying, celebrate the end of the semester and buy awesome gifts,” she said. “It will help reduce the stress of Christmas shopping too.”last_img read more