IJNetwork Files Lawsuit on Behalf of Canadian TV Journalist Held Without Charge at Bagram  E-mail
    Mr. Jawed Ahmad

Jawed Ahmad, CTV

International Justice Network Continues Legal Battle Against Human Rights Abuses by the Bush Administration in the “War on Terror”

Contact: Mahdis Keshavarz
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June 3, 2008, New York, NY—Attorneys from the International Justice Network (IJNetwork) filed a lawsuit today against the U.S. government seeking the release of 22-year old Canadian Television (CTV) journalist, Jawed Ahmad.  Ahmad has been held incommunicado by the U.S. military for more than six months without charge at the notorious United States Air Base in Bagram, Afghanistan, where several confirmed instances of detainee abuse and deaths have occurred.

The lawsuit, filed as a petition for a writ of habeas corpus and a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief, was filed today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against President George W. Bush and U.S. Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, alleging that the government is holding Ahmad illegally.

The U.S. Department of Defense has admitted that Ahmad is being held at Bagram, but has refused to disclose the reasons for his arrest and detention.  Ahmad is one of several confirmed cases of foreign journalists illegally detained by the U.S.  Earlier this year, on April 6, the U.S.Bilal Hussein after two years of military imprisonment without charge in Iraq, followed by the release, on May 1, of Al Jazeera cameraman Sami Al Haj after five years of detention without charge at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. government as part of the “war on terror.” government finally released Pulitzer Prize-winning AP photographer

Lead counsel on the case, Ahmad v. Bush, is IJNetwork Litigation Director and Stanford Human Rights Law Professor, Barbara Olshansky, who stressed that "it is media that shines the light on troubling practices of all parties to the conflict in Afghanistan and enables the people to hold their elected officials to account for their actions."  "Given the pivotal role of freedom of the press in the development and maintenance of a true democracy, the United States should not seize journalists like Jawed Ahmad merely because they are doing their jobs," she said.

There are currently approximately 630 Afghans and other foreign nationals (including at least 9 juveniles) imprisoned without charge by the U.S. government at the Bagram prison, and many have been held for as long as five years or more.  The International Justice Network filed the first legal challenges on behalf of civilians held at Bagram in October 2006, and today remains the only international human rights organization representing foreign nationals held at U.S. secret prisons beyond Guantanamo.



 Bio of Jawed  

  Press Releases 

Jawed Ahmad, a 22-year old Canadian Television (CTV) journalist has been held virtually incommunicado by the U.S. Military for more than six months without charge at the notorious United States Airforce Base in Bagram, Afghanistan.  Family and friends of Jawed have expressed grave concerns for the young journalist's health and safety given Bagram's long history of detainee abuse and death.  Ahmad was seized by U.S. forces at the end of October 2007 at Kandahar Airport when he responded to a call to meet colleagues there from CTV.  The U.S. military has now held Jawed in Bagram for six and one-half months, and has not charged him with any crime nor given him access to counsel.




 Legal Documents

  How To Get Involved

Download now: Jawed Ahmad Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus

Jawed Ahmad, Detainee v. George W. Bush,  President of the United States. Filed June, 2008 by IJNetwork in cooperation with the Stanford Law School International Human Rights Clinic.


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link to: Committee to Protect Journalists

link to: Reporters Without Borders




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