Al Jazeera cameraman’s lawyer, speaks with Reporters Without Borders about his client’s ordeal in Guantanamo Bay

first_img Facebook’s Oversight Board is just a stopgap, regulation urgently needed, RSF says April 28, 2021 Find out more News WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalists June 3, 2021 Find out more June 7, 2021 Find out more Smith also thanked Al Jazeera, the Qatari and Sudanese governments as well as organizations such as Reporters Without Borders, for tiredlessly advocating for the release of Sami Al-Haj. Al-Haj was charged with running an extremist Islamic website, connecting him to Al-Qaeda in his attempt to interview Osama Bin Landen.”(The US military) alleged that he was a terrorist because he had trained in Al Jazeera. The precise words were, ‘the detainee admitted that he had trained in the use of the camera with Al Jazeera,’ and that is meant to be understood as some sort of terrorism,” Smith said.”There’s no legal basis. They would come up with new allegations and we would prove that the allegations were rubbish.”Watch the video (part 2) Organisation Based on Smith’s testimony, there were no clear reasons as to why al-Haj was not release before. In fact, according to Smith, al-Haj is still considered a terrorist by US authorities.During his imprisonment in Guantanamo Bay, interrogators coerced al-Haj into becoming a witness against Al Jazeera, accusing the network television of receiving funds directly from Al Qaeda.” I think it’s just an assault on Al Jazeera, I mean its very, very sad – speaking as an American – we are meant to support free speech… Al Jazeera in the beacon of free speech in the Middle East,” Smith explained.He also commented on al-Haj’s health saying that he arrived at hospital in Khartoum, Sudan very weak after facing a long and tough flight. He was not allowed to use the toilet for twenty hours and al-Haj kept the hunger strike until he arrived in Sudan – that meant no food and water. He was also in shackles and was blinded with a hood.”The doctors (in Sudan) were worried that he wouldn’t survive,” Smith said. “On the other hand, within two or three days he was doing a lot better.”In addition to being tortured during his captivity in Guantanamo Bay, doctors informed al-Haj that he had cancer, but he could not see a specialist. Sudanese doctors who examined al-Haj upon his arrival, said he tested negative for cancer.As for al-Haj’s professional life, Smith said that for the time being his client has no intention of traveling to a war zone again. He also said that the US has tried to put pressure on the Sudanese government to prevent al-Haj from traveling or working again with Al Jazeera.”He would rather stay in Guantanamo ten years rather than signing any such papers,” Smith said. “When he was being release, the admiral who came to see him tried to get him to sign a document, and he told him that the advice of his lawyer was not to sign anything.”On the allegations of torture, which the US authorities deny, Smith said his client was interrogated a 130 different occasions, out of which 120 of the interrogations focused on trying to get al-Haj to say that Al Jazeera is a terrorist organization. Smith also discussed the methods by which he was force-fed in the prison- guards pulled the tube inserted through the nose – explicitly to try to press prisoners to come off the hunger strike, “I think that’s inhumane,” he said. Al-Haj also went under a total of 478 days of a hunger strike. “You think about the IRA hunger strikers back in the 1980s – the maximum anyone did was 70 (days)”Smith himself was subject to accusations by the US government, alleging that he incited three prisoners to commit suicide. “I think it’s pretty disgusting that they accuse me of trying to get my clients to commit suicide.”In regards to the future of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Smith said that we face more danger today than before September 11th. “No sane person can look you in the eye and say that Guantanamo Bay has made the world a safer place.”According to Smith, “Guantanamo Bay is going to close.” But the real issue is that the US has about 27,000 prisoners and other secret jails where prisoners are in worst conditions than those in Guantanamo Bay. United StatesAmericas Receive email alerts Follow the news on United Statescenter_img Human rights lawyer Clive Stafford-Smith gave a candid interview on Monday, May 19 to Reporters Without Borders about his client, Al Jazeera cameraman Sami al-Haj. Al-Haj had spent the last six years detained in Guantanamo Bay before being released earlier this month. RSF_en Human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith gave a candid interview on Monday, May 19 to Reporters Without Borders USA Director Lucie Morillon about his client, Al Jazeera cameraman Sami al-Haj. Al-Haj had spent the last six years detained in Guantanamo Bay before being released earlier this month. Smith arrived in the United States this week to testify before Congress on the situation in Guantanamo. In the interview, he explained al-Haj’s health condition and his future as a journalist after being released.Watch the video (part 1) Help by sharing this information to go further News United StatesAmericas News News NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say May 22, 2008 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Al Jazeera cameraman’s lawyer, speaks with Reporters Without Borders about his client’s ordeal in Guantanamo Bay last_img read more

Vieira blames lack of ‘strength’ for Arsenal’s failings

first_imgMore than 3,000 miles away, Vieira would have grimaced when he heard the 4-0 result. The Frenchman is manager at MLS franchise New York City.Now 41, he remains a commanding figure. He marches round the club’s training complex an hour’s drive north of Manhattan with an authority reminiscent of his playing career. When Vieira speaks, his players listen.Arsenal, however, is never too far from the forefront of his mind, probably even more so after Sunday’s cowardly display.Vieira was the embodiment of all that was impressive about Arsenal under Wenger. Powerful, brave and authoritative. He could play a bit too, just ask Roy Keane.READ: Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira insists the club have plenty of leaders as he blames lack of ‘strength’ for failingsThe Frenchman was the embodiment of all that was impressive about Arsenal under Wenger.Photo/ Daily Mail.Twelve years after he left north London for Juventus, there remains a Vieira-shaped hole in the heart of Arsenal’s midfield. The void isn’t lost on Vieira.“If you look at Arsenal today I really enjoy watching them play, they play some really good football,” he says. “But that is not enough to win football matches or to win competitions. In our time we were winning and we had the strength to not play well but somehow manage to win the game 1-0.“I’m not one to say, “Our generation was better than this generation”. It doesn’t make sense to compare the two generations because we are in a different period.“The team in our generation were more physical but this generation are better football players, there’s no doubt about that. So the balance is what Arsenal need to find. We had the physicality to deal with different situations.”Incredibly, Vieira says he wouldn’t pick himself in his own starting XI now he’s a manager.“Now I’m coach, if I had a player like myself maybe he’d be on the bench,” he says with a wry smile, tongue firmly in cheek.Vieira believes players such as Mesut Ozil have the qualities to take his mantle.Photo/DAILY MAILWenger wouldn’t agree with him. The Gunners manager is crying out for someone like Vieira — he’d be the first name on the team-sheet.It’s no secret Arsenal lack leaders. Vieira is, arguably, the most dominant captain Wenger ever had in his 20-plus years at Arsenal.But Vieira believes there are players at the Emirates who can take his mantle.“You’re not going to tell me Mesut Ozil is not a leader? You’re not going to tell me Alexis Sanchez is not a leader? You’re not going to tell me Petr Cech is not a leader,” he asserts.“I believe there are different types of leaders on the field. You have the technical leader, you have the vocal one, you have the one who doesn’t talk but shows it in his desire and how he competes.“I’m more like that: the one who isn’t as vocal as Tony Adams but will show it how he competes on the field. And you have the type of leader who will want to take a penalty in the 95th minute — this is part of being a leader as well.“There are leaders in the team to challenge and they have the experience to win matches.”Pressure is building on manager Arsene Wenger after another humiliating defeat.Photo/DAILY MAILSo where now for Wenger and his side? What are the solutions? The club’s London Colney HQ will feel like a lonely place for Wenger over the next 10 days as his players disperse for international duty.Wenger was lauded for the switch to a back three in April, a ploy that coincided with a run of seven wins in eight games at the back end of last season.But after sticking with the system, Arsenal have conceded eight goals in three Premier League games so far, the second worst record in the division behind West Ham, who have leaked 10.Yet the likelihood of Wenger relenting in his pursuit of attacking perfection seems improbable.Jose Mourinho, in contrast, seems to have struck the perfect balance between defence and attack. Manchester United have scored 10 goals so far, the highest in the league, conceding none. He’d never admit it, of course, but maybe Wenger should take a leaf out of Mourinho’s book.Arsenal fans are longing for players like Vieira after years of the same failings.Photo/DAILY MAILVieira, who worked under both managers, says: “Would I like my team to be more like a Jose or an Arsene team? I would like to be the balance of both.“I would like my teams to have the discipline that Jose has but also allow players to express themselves into that discipline like Arsene. Arsene always gives freedom to his players. To have that freedom is good but if you can get them to respect the tactical aspect of the game it will be even better.“When you talk about Jose who I had at Inter Milan, he was always focused on the details, giving players information that allows them to go on the field and respect the tactical game.“Then you have Arsene who is always positive and always giving confidence to the players no matter what. Fabio Capello could be really tough on players. Roberto Mancini would work on tactical work for an hour and a half because the tactical game was important for him“So I take a little bit from everybody and try to use it with how I see the game and how I am as person as well.”-By Daily Mail–0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Arsenal players make their way back to the halfway line after Liverpool’s fourth goal.PHOTO/Daily MailLONDON, United Kingdom, Aug 29 – How Arsene Wenger could do with Patrick Vieira in his ranks. Sunday’s harrowing experience at Anfield would never have happened on the Frenchman’s watch.Not for the first time, Wenger’s non-firing Gunners were lucky to leave Liverpool trailing by four goals. They lost 5-1 in 2014 and were equally abject, gutless and spineless at the weekend.last_img read more