United States

UNITED STATES Resolution of the Midyear Meeting Caracas, Venezuela March 28 - 30, 2008 WHEREAS A federal judge has ordered a former USA Today reporter to pay $5,000 a day in fines for refusing to reveal confidential sources related to reporting on the 2001 anthrax attacks. The judge's ruling, now on appeal, is unprecedented because it also prohibits the reporter's former employer, or anyone else, from paying her fine WHEREAS Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein has been held by the U.S. military in Iraq since April 2006, without formal charges. His AP lawyers continue to be denied documents that would enable them to defend him. An extensive investigation by the AP found no evidence he did anything wrong WHEREAS Military hearings for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay continue to be shrouded in secrecy. More transparency about these proceedings would help build public confidence in the military justice system WHEREAS Principle 3 of the Chapultepec Declaration states, "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 where federal judges force journalists to disclose their sources and impose heavy fines to insist that the military either release AP photographer Bilal Hussein, or formally charge him, or allow him and his lawyers to see the evidence against him, and provide the public with evidence that links him to insurgent acitivites to urge more transparency of the military hearings for terror suspects being held at Guantanamo, which would build public confidence in the military justice system