International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called on United States President
Barack Obama to intervene over the injustice of journalists killed in Iraq at the hands of the US military.
the sixth anniversary of United States
army attacks on media in Baghdad
on April 8th 2003, in which three journalists died, the IFJ says President
Obama must act to investigate a series of killings in the conflict which remain
a letter to the US
President, IFJ President Jim Boumelha,
says the April 8th attack by US forces on Baghdad's
Palestine Hotel, which was filled at the time with media staff, "has come to
symbolise impunity over attacks on journalists and media staff in Iraq and around
journalists, José Couso of Telecinco in Spain,
and Taras Protsiuk, a Ukrainian cameraman who worked for Reuters died in the
attack and on the same day, US forces attacked the offices of Al-Jazeera in Baghdad, killing reporter
told President Obama that these attacks have not been independently
investigated or properly explained to the satisfaction of the victims'
families, their friends and their colleagues. Reports published by US
authorities, he said, had failed to thoroughly examine the evidence available
and instead merely exonerated US personnel at all levels of command. The Pentagon's
November 2004 report on the attack on the Palestine Hotel was, he said, "flawed
IFJ has catalogued 16 other cases involving journalists and media staff who
have died since March 2003 at the hands of US soldiers. In all of them the
families and friends of the victims "wait for credible investigations and honest
reports about how and why their loved ones died" said Boumelha.
national affiliates have also sent letters to US embassies urging US
authorities to take responsibility for their part in the deaths of journalists
and media staff in Iraq.
This year, Boumelha told Obama, journalists "will be encouraged by your vision
and plans concerning Iraq
which have given hope to millions in this country and across the world."
says there should be a review of all the cases and a convincing process of
investigation that would "honour your commitment to democracy, human rights and
further information contact IFJ on +32 2 235 2207
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 123 countries worldwide