Local and foreign journalists staged a demonstration in Islamabad on Thursday to demand the release of Al-Jazeera cameraman, who has been languishing in the infamous American detention center in Guantanamo for six years.
Sami Al-Haj was detained by Pakistani forces in October 2001 because of problems in his passports when he and an Al-Jazeera reporter attempted to re-enter southern Afghanistan at the Chaman border crossing in Pakistan.
He was later transferred to U.S. custody from Quetta. Al-Haj has since been brought to the U.S. military facility in Guantanamo Bay, where he is being held as an accused "enemy combatant," according to his London-based lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith.
Sami has got one six year son and a wife waiting all the time for his return. Since then neither he was indicted or given any tangible relief.
Journalists, holding banners and placards inscribed with slogans for Al-Haj release, gathered outside the building of Islamabad Press Club and chanted slogans against the United States.
The banners and placards inscribed with slogans Do not bracket journalists with terrorism Justice-the only dream for Sami and Sami we are with you.
We are here to show solidarity with Sami and his family, Ahmed Zaidan, Al-Jazeera bureau chief told the demonstrators.
Sami has not been getting any trial foe six years, Zaidan said.
Representatives of local journalist unions Mushtaq Minhas and Nawaz Raza also addressed the demonstration and condemned the years of detention of Aj-Jazeera cameraman.