Sign up for weekly updates


Sudanese cameraman Sami al-Haj, who has been held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for more than five years without charge, is in failing health. Petitions continue to be organised worldwide demanding his release.

Al-Haj, who has been on hunger strike since 7 January to protest detention without trial and inhumane prison conditions, has lost 18 kilograms and is suffering from health issues, according to recently declassified documents provided by his lawyer Clive Stafford Smith.

A 38-year old assistant cameraman for the Qatar-based TV station Al Jazeera, Al-Haj was arrested by Pakistani security forces at the Afghan border in December 2001 while covering the U.S.-led fight to oust the Taliban. He was handed over to the U.S. military six months later. No charges have ever been brought against him although he has been accused of being an "enemy combatant", and he remains the only known journalist held at Guantanamo.

"Sami continues with one simple demand - that he be given a fair trial, or freedom," says Stafford Smith. "But as much as he is determined to secure justice, the U.S. military is intent on denying it. When I saw him recently, he was deteriorating both physically and mentally, and he was talking about dying. Ensuring his liberation has never been more urgent."

For more information on al-Haj's case, see CPJ's special report, "The Enemy?":

Demand that U.S. military authorities release al-Haj from detention by signing one or more of these petitions:
- Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières):
- Prisoner 345:
- Global Coordination for Sami al-Haj:
- Release Sami al-Haj:
(4 September 2007)

Latest Tweet:

32 human rights and free speech NGOs issue joint statement calling for immediate release of Mauritanian blogger Moh…

Get more stories like this

Sign up for our newsletters and get the most important free expression news delivered to your inbox.