Pentagon Bars Three Canadian Journalists from GITMO

Pentagon Bars Three Canadian Journalists from GITMO

Washington : DC : USA | May 07, 2010 at 3:16 PM PDT
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The Pentagon has barred three Canadian journalist from GITMO, where they have been hearing military tribunal hearings. The three journalists covered the pre-trial procedures of Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen, charged with murdering a U.S. solidier with a grenade.

The reporters, representing the Globe and Mail, CanWest News Service and Toronto Star are accused of breaching a ban by identifying a witness.

"Your reporters published the name of a witness whose identity was protected in court," a letter handed to the journalists stated.

"As a result of these violations, these individual reporters are barred from returning to cover future military commissions proceedings."

Khadr's pre-trial has been trying to establish, for the past eight days, whether or not statements made by him were done under pressure, even torture.

Among the witnesses this week was a former interrogator from Bagram Air Base in 1982. This were Khadr was taken originally and interrogated.

The man had testified on Tuesday of telling Khadr a ficticious story of an Afghan boy that was gang raped and died in custody.

The Pentagon wanted the witness identified as Interrogator No. 1. The Toronto Star thoiught that this was ridiculous since the man had previously given an interview to the Toronto Star.

The journalists banned were, Michelle Sheppard, the Toronto Star, Paul Koring of the Globe and Mail and Canwest's Steven Edwards.

The Globe and Mail said they would appeal the decision.

Carol Rosenberg of the Miami Herald was also told not to return.

The ban is not extended to the media outlets themselves but only to the individula reporters.

The ACLU condemned the Pentagon decision and called the ruling absurd and nonsensical.

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Karl Gotthardt is based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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