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Afghan journalist files lawsuit against Bush administration for illegal detention

[JURIST] An Afghan journalist employed by a Canadian television network who is being held as an "enemy combatant" in Afghanistan filed a lawsuit [petition, PDF; press release] against the Bush administration Tuesday, alleging violations of due process and the right to counsel. The complaint, initiated by Ahmad's father, accuses the Bush administration of holding Ahmad illegally for more than six months without being charged in violation of the US Constitution, military regulations, the Administrative Procedures Act [text], the Geneva Conventions, and general international and human rights law. The petition requests that the administration either release Ahmed or state the evidence against him, allow him to speak with lawyers and stop all inhumane treatment. AP has more.

The US military designated Jawed Ahmad [SAJA report; CPJ report], a cameraman for Canadian CTV [media website], as an enemy combatant [JURIST report] after US officials alleged he had Taliban phone numbers and videos in his possession when he was detained by coalition forces at a NATO airbase in Kandahar last October. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) [advocacy website] has called for disclosure [CPJ report], and CTV has made similar appeals [lawsuit press release] to the US government, NATO, and the Canadian military. US military forces have previously detained without charge journalists working in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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