Islamic Human Rights Commission
21 September 2005
ALERT UPDATE: Aljazeera’s Taysir Alouni Rearrested
Al Jazeera reporter Taysir Alouni has been rearrested by Spanish authorities. Taysir was arrested and taken into custody on Friday 16 September. He had been under house arrest for almost one year after being released from prison due to health problems suffered as a result of extremely harsh conditions of detention. The timing of the arrest is likely to be linked to the forthcoming verdict in his trial for which he stands accused of membership of a terrorist group. The arrest and detention is nothing more than a gross infringement of freedom of the press.
For full details of the background to the case, please visit the following websites
IHRC urges all campaigners to write to their MP and Foreign Secretary requesting them to raise these issues in parliament and with the Spanish authorities. A sample letter is below for your convenience.
Rt. Hon. Jack Straw MP
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
Dear Mr. Straw:
RE: Spanish Re-arrest and Detention of al-Jazeera reporter, Taysir Alouni
I am writing out of deep concern about the continuing witch-hunt of Muslims as part of the ‘war on terror’, and in particular the re-arrest and detention of Aljazeera journalist, Taysir Alouni in Spain.
Mr Alouni was rearrested on 16 September 2005 following almost a year of mandatory house arrest on suspicion of being a member of a terrorist group. Although initially detained in prison, he was released into house arrest in November 2004 after suffering severe health problems due to the horrific conditions he was being held in. He is now back in those same conditions where his health could suffer once again.
He faces charges of membership of a terrorist organisation. Much of the “evidence” stems from Mr Alouni’s interview with Usama bin Laden in October 2001 and his journalistic contacts in al-Qaeda. If journalists ought to stand trial for interviewing individuals suspected of terrorism or war crimes, then hundreds of American and European journalists should also line up in courts. Even the respected Western journalist, Robert Fisk, has interviewed Usama bin Laden. Yet, only Taysir Alouni has been singled out for this kind of treatment.
I strongly urge you to raise these concerns with your Spanish counterparts and demand that Taysir Alouni be freed immediately on bail. Such shocking treatment of a respected reporter who was simply doing his duty, is symbolic of the extent to which traditional civil liberties and democratic values such as the freedom of the press are rapidly evaporating in Western society.
I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience
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Holy Qur’an: Chapter 4, Verse 75
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