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Pentagon Now Reserves Right to Treat Journalists as Spies in War Scenarios:

The Pentagon has produced its first Department of Defense-wide Law of War Manual and the results are not encouraging for journalists who, the documents states, may be treated as “unprivileged belligerents.
This broad and poorly defined category gives U.S. military commanders across all services the purported right to at least detain journalists without charge, and without any apparent need to show evidence or bring a suspect to trial.

The manual’s impact overseas, especially in the short run, may be even worse. The language used to justify treating journalists as “unprivileged belligerents” comes at a time when international law for conflict is being flouted by armed groups–including government, militia, and insurgent forces–from Ukraine and Iraq to Nigeria and the Congo–and during a time in which CPJ has documented record numbers of journalists being imprisoned and killed. At a time when international leadership on human rights and press freedom is most needed, the Pentagon has produced a self-serving document that is unfortunately helping to lower the bar.
So far the manual has received little press, but both The Washington Times and Russia Today covered it. The Moscow-funded global news outlet Russia Today quoted Chris Chambers, a Georgetown University undergraduate communications professor, saying that the manual gives U.S. military forces “license to attack” journalists.
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