Jeremy Scahill blasted the Obama administration on Thursday for its opposition to the release of Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye from prison.
Shaye was jailed on terrorism charges after he reported on an American cruise missile strike in Yemen that killed many civilians. Though the charges were widely seen as trumped up, Shaye remained in prison at the behest of President Obama, who told Yemen's president that he should back off of a planned pardon of the journalist.
Shaye was finally freed on Tuesday; the White House said it was "concerned and disappointed" about the release.
Speaking on "Democracy Now," Scahill said that Shaye had been imprisoned "because he had the audacity to expose a U.S. cruise missile attack that killed three dozen women and children, and the United States had tried to cover it up." He harshly criticized Obama for pressing for his continued imprisonment.
"My question for the White House would be you want to co-sign a dictator's arrest of a journalist, beating of a journalist, and conviction in a court that every human rights organization in the world has said was a sham court?" he said. "That's the side that the White House is on right now. Not on the side of press freedom around the world. They're on the side of locking up journalists who have the audacity to actually be journalists."