After a letter Human Rights First organized with a group of NGOs, a petition we set up asking the same demands, we now have an official response from the Department of Defense regarding the journalists who were banned from Guantanamo last month.
The Director of Press Operations David Lapan replied to our letter by defending the decision, but leaving the door open to reinstatement, as was reported in the press last week:
It is my determination that officials of the Department were correct to take the
actions they did against [the four journalists]…I do however, agree that there
should be some provisions for [these reporters] to be reinstated in the
We can agree to disagree about whether these journalists should have been banned but let’s hope that this means the journalists will be reinstated quickly and that the Department of Defense won’t place unreasonable restrictions on journalists’ reporting from Guantanamo in the future.
Lapan states that “thousands of journalists, attorneys, international organizations” have visited Guantanamo since the detention facility was opened, but the journalists banned are the most knowledgeable about the whole of the proceedings, as has been widely recognized and reported.
If you haven’t already, you can still sign our petition to urge their reinstatement.