Thursday, September 13, 2012

U.S. judge rule protects reporters, activists in their Middle East work

Source: Reuters

A federal judge made permanent on Wednesday her order blocking enforcement of section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act that authorizes military detention for people deemed to have "substantially supported" al Qaeda, the Taliban or "associated forces."

U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan had ruled in May in favor of non-profit groups and reporters whose work relates to conflicts in the Middle East and who said they feared being detained under a section of the law, signed by President Barack Obama in December.

"This court does not disagree with the principle that the president has primacy in foreign affairs," the judge said, but that she was not convinced by government arguments.

"The government has not stated that such conduct - which, by analogy, covers any writing, journalistic and associational activities that involve al Qaeda, the Taliban or whomever is deemed "associated forces" - does not fall within § 1021(b)(2)."

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