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What Does Shelby County, Alabama, Have in Common with Turkey, Iran and China?

Posted on the 26 December 2013 by Rogershuler @RogerShuler
This is Carol, Roger's wife. So just what does Shelby County, Alabama, have in common with Turkey, Iran and China? Answer: It shares the dubious distinction of being a location cited by the Committee to Protect Journalists--an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide--in their 2013 Census of Jail Journalists. Here is a link to the CPJ list: CPJ 2013 Prison Census

Legal Schnauzer publisher Roger Shuler was named on the list which is published by the CPJ each December. According to the CPJ's article, "CPJ’s list is a snapshot of those incarcerated at 12:01 a.m. on December 1, 2013. It does not include the many journalists imprisoned and released throughout the year; accounts of those cases can be found at Journalists remain on CPJ’s list until the organization determines with reasonable certainty that they have been released or have died in custody." 

In a census that is normally about jailed journalists in oppressive countries such as Turkey, Iran and China, the unlawful detention of Roger Shuler in the United States is truly a disgrace and shows just have far we have sunk as a nation. Shuler has made the list as an American journalist having been imprisoned for speaking out about corruption in America and Alabama at the highest levels. This is making worldwide news in a variety of media venues because it is very uncommon for an American to make this list. 

According to a CPJ special report by Elana Beiser, "Turkey, Iran, and China accounted for more than half of all journalists imprisoned around the world in 2013, the Committee to Protect Journalists has found." Here is the link to Ms. Beiser's article:Second Worst Year on Record for Jailed Journalists.
Ms. Beiser goes on to write about Roger Shuler:

"The single journalist behind bars in the Americas was in the United States. Roger Shuler, an independent blogger specializing in allegations of corruption and scandal in Republican circles in Alabama, was being held on contempt of court for refusing to comply with an injunction regarding content ruled defamatory. In recent years, journalist jailings in the Americas have become increasingly rare, with one Cuban documented in prison in 2012 and none throughout the region in 2011."
Alabama attorney and whistleblower in the Don Siegelman caseJill Simpson wrote an article on Dec. 23 for OpEd News about Roger Shuler making the CPJ list of jailed journalists.

Ms. Simpson writes: 

"Roger has been a key documenter of corruption in the United States since he took on the Don Siegelman story in 2007 and he has never let up.  Roger has recently vowed from his jail cell that he will not retract the statements he has made about Rob Riley, son of recent former Governor Bob Riley.  So what we are left with in America is a journalist indefinitely incarcerated by a specially appointed retired judge not duly elected to decide this case who was appointed by Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore known famously as the "10 Commandments" judge who was removed from the bench due to his mixture of church and state but re-elected by popular vote."
Ms. Simpson further writes:
"What concerns me about Roger Shuler's case is how they are indefinitely holding him.  Clearly, if they want to punish Roger they should give him a sentence but instead it appears that in America these days we can now hold people for any amount of time if they do not do as the court wishes.  So Roger sits in a jail cell in Shelby County Alabama with no knowledge of when he is to get out.  Journalists all over the world are beginning to pick up his story as it appears this is the first time we have seen a journalist in the United States be treated like a Guantanamo Bay alleged terrorist.  It is very Kafka-esque because we have a specially appointed non-elected judge, a secret hearing and sealed records."
Here is the link to Ms. Simpson's OpEd News article: Let Roger Shuler Go Before Christmas -- The Only Journalist Held Indefinitely in the U.S.
What Does Shelby County, Alabama, Have in Common with Turkey, Iran and China?

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