Former Gitmo detainee to cover human rights

LONDON — Al-Jazeera has tapped journo Sami Al-Haj, who was recently released from Guantanamo Bay after six years in detention, as news producer for their newly created Liberties and Human Rights Affairs desk.

The new division will focus on human-rights and civil-liberties issues, working with human-rights groups around the world to produce features and documentaries that raise public awareness.

“We are pleased to have Sami back at work,” said Al-Jazeera network director-general Wadah Khanfar. “The network has always strived to provide a voice to the voiceless and to tell the story of the weak and abused. By creating this position we are further demonstrating this commitment.”

Al-Haj was detained by Pakistani border authorities while trying to cross into the story on Dec. 15, 2001. Al-Haj has always maintained that he was on assignment for Al-Jazeera. He was then transferred to U.S. military custody and eventually placed in Guantanamo Bay, where he was reputedly the only journalist held there. He was finally released in May this year.

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