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US military releases journalist detained as enemy combatant in Afghanistan

[JURIST] The US-led Multi-National Force - Iraq (MNF) [official website] announced Monday that it had released an Afghan freelance journalist detained since last year as an enemy combatant [JURIST news archive]. A military spokesman said Jawed Ahmad, who had been working as a videographer for Canadian television network CTV, was freed Sunday because he was no longer considered a threat. Ahmad's family sued the Bush administration [JURIST report] in June, alleging his detention violated his rights to due process and counsel. Ahmad said in an interview [Globe and Mail report] that he was subjected to beatings and sleep deprivation while in US custody. AP has more. Canadian Press has local coverage.

Ahmad, also known as Javed Yazamy, was detained by coalition forces at a NATO airbase in Kandahar last October. US officials designated him an enemy combatant [JURIST report] in February, alleging he had Taliban phone numbers and videos in his possession when he was detained. Ahmad is one of several journalists whom the US military has detained without charge in Iraq and Afghanistan [JURIST news archives]. In December 2006, the Committee to Protect Journalists released a report [JURIST report] noting that the US was detaining three journalists, including Al Jazeera cameraman Sami al-Haj and AP photographer Bilal Hussein.

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