Friday, February 11, 2005
Do Journalists in Iraq Feel Threatened?
In 2003, in Iraq
Mazen Dana, Reuters
Palestinian cameraman Mazen Dana, 43, was shot dead by an American soldier on 17 August 2003 as he was filming Abou Ghraib prison in a suburb of Baghdad. US officials said the soldier mistook his camera for a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.
José Couso, Tele 5
Two TV cameramen, Spaniard José Couso and Ukrainian Taras Protsyuk, were killed on 8 April 2003 when a US tank fired on the hotel Palestine in Baghdad, where many foreign journalists were staying.
Taras Protsyuk, Reuters
Two TV cameramen, Ukrainian Taras Protsyuk and Spaniard José Couso, were killed on 8 April 2003 when a US tank fired on the hotel Palestine in Baghdad, where many foreign journalists were staying.
Terry Lloyd, ITV News
Reporter for the British TV network ITN, veteran British war reporter Terry Lloyd, 51, was killed in gunfire, probably from US-British troops, near Basra on 22 March 2003.
In 2004, in Iraq
Dhia Najim, Reuters
Dhia Najim, an Iraqi freelance cameraman working for the news agency Reuters was shot dead (by a sniper) in disputed circumstances on 1st November 2004 in the town of Ramadi, west of Baghdad.
A Reuters dispatch also noted that press photographs taken on 31 October showed US marine snipers taking up position in Ramadi. Reuters ruled out any possibility Najim being linked to the rebels and called for a thorough investigation by the US army. Najim's colleagues and family believe he was killed by a US sniper.
Mazen al-Tomaizi, Al-Arabiya
Palestinian journalist Mazen al-Tomaizi, who worked for the pan-Arab TV news station Al-Arabiya and the Saudi TV station Al-Ekhbariya, was reporting live on Al-Ekhbariya at the scene of a burning Bradley fighting vehicle on 12 September 2004 in Baghdad when he was hit by the impact of a missile fired from a US helicopter.
Mahmoud Hamid Abbas, ZDF
When he phoned the ZDF office in Baghdad to say he was coming he mentioned he had just filmed a house destroyed by US warplanes. About 25 minutes later, he rang again to say he had seen a second attack. During the call, he suddenly said he and others with him were being fired at. There was a dull thud, apparently an explosion, and the line was cut off, according to ZDF correspondent in Iraq.
Hossam Ali, freelance
Iraqi freelance photographer Hossam Ali was killed in Falluja on 15 August 2004 in unclear circumstances.
Ali Al-Khatib, Al-Arabiya and Ali Abdel Aziz, Al-Arabiya
Two Al-Arabiya journalists were hit by American shots on 18 March 2004 near the Borj al-Hayat Hotel although there their vehicle was clearly marked "TV."
The TV crew was there because the Borj al-Hayat Hotel had just sustained a rocket attack. Abdel Aziz's brother, Haidar Abdel Aziz, said Al-Arabiya had been given permission to film by the US army. "Suddenly, a Volvo did not stop at the roadblock and the soldiers began to open fire," he said. "My brother and the journalist wanted to leave, they ran towards their car, and at the moment that it was starting up, an armoured vehicle fired on it."
Yesterday, I posted here and here that Ann Cooper of the Committee to Protect Journalists used words like "U.S. troops harassing journalists", murder and "at least nine of the 23 journalists killed were deliberately targeted". I can see from the list above of 10 reporters killed in Iraq in two years, how some might feel threatened. But...Is it deliberate?