Basically ISAF (which just means NATO forces in Afghanistan, primarily US troops) have arrested Rahmatullah Naikzad, a photographer and cameraman who worked for, among others, Al Jazeera and The Associated Press.
The charges are hilarious.
Naikzad has been accused of being a “propagandist” and “distributing images of violence”.
Firstly, no definition of “propagandist” has been offered so it simply means “someone who says stuff we don’t like”. Secondly, punishing an Afghani journalist for “distributing images of violence” is like punishing a Finnish journalist for being cold!
There has also been no explanation for why the troops also made off with $40 000 dollars in savings that Naikzad had in his safe.
So unless someone comes up with a really good explanation of why this was necessary I am calling ‘shenanigans’ on the operation.
The thing is though, we’ve been through this before. The US has a nasty habit of scooping up journalists, holding them for months and even years, never charging them with anything and then eventually releasing them.
For contrast we can compare the case of Roxana Saberi who is an American journalist who was held in Iran in 2009 on trumped-up spying charges. After a few months she was charged in court, given a trial, found innocent and immediately released.
If Iran can manage to follow due legal process then why can’t the US?
It’s all back to front.
[Standard Disclaimer: this post was entirely my own opinion and was not paid for in any way, directly or otherwise, by anyone or anything that stands to gain in any way from the ideas expressed herein.]