The International Federation of Journalists has called on the US government to release Al-Jazeera cameraman, Sami al-Haj, who this morning started his 100th day of hunger strike after almost five-years of detention at the Guantanamo Bay.
According to the IFJ Al-Haj was first arrested crossing into Afghanistan with a legitimate visa on 15 December 2001. He was held by the US military at the Bagram base before being transferred to Guantanamo on 13 June, 2002. The IFJ says that since then he has been interrogated over 150 occasions, tortured, and accused of terrorism offences. . IFJ chairman Aidan White said: "Journalists around the world are calling for Sami's release, now his detention is not just a matter of injustice but a matter of life and death." Al-Haj is the only confirmed journalist now imprisoned at Guantanamo, according to the IFJ.
The US has alleged that he worked as a financial courier for Chechen rebels.
Al-Haj's lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, has said there is no credible evidence against his client and that the focus of US questioning has not been alleged terrorist activities but obtaining intelligence on Al-Jazeera and its staff.