United States

WHEREAS a federal judge has ordered five journalists to identify their government sources in a civil case related to the 2001 anthrax attacks WHEREAS the proposed Open Government Act, which has reached the final stage for approval by Congress, will strengthen the Freedom of Information Act by imposing penalties on federal agencies that fail to respond to FOI requests WHEREAS Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein continues to be detained in Iraq by the U.S. military without charge or an opportunity to defend himself, and the military refused to release information on his case WHEREAS the Department of Defense continues to refuse media requests to cover military hearings for terrorist suspects being held at its Guantanamo base WHEREAS Principle 3 of the Chapultepec Declaration states that “The authorities must be compelled by law to make available in a timely and reasonable manner the information generated by the public sector. No journalist may be forced to reveal his or her sources of information” THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE IAPA RESOLVES to condemn instances in which federal judges force journalists to disclose their sources; to urge Congress to enact the Open Government Act and President Bush to sign it; to insist that the military (i) either release AP photographer Bilal Hussein or charge him, (ii) offer him an opportunity to defend himself, and (iii) provide the public with the information the military claims links him to insurgent activities; and to demand, that absent demonstrated compelling interests the media be allowed to cover hearings for persons held at Guantanamo Bay.