To date, the United States internal “investigation” of the Palestine Hotel tragedy on April 8th 2003, in which two of our colleagues – Taras Protsiuk and José Couso died – as well as three other incidents in which journalists Mazen Dana, Terry Lloyd, Fred Nérac, Hussein Osman and Tareq Ayyoub were killed, have not been properly investigated and the information regarding their deaths remains classified.
No details of these incidents have been released to their families, news organisations, or the public. This is a shameful situation for a nation that prides itself in openness, freedom of information and democracy.
The Pentagon has ignored repeated calls by the International Federation of Journalists, media staff and journalists’ unions in the United States and other press freedom groups for a detailed, independent inquiry into these tragic events as well as the development of protocols to assure the safety of war correspondents.
Reporters, camera operators and others who cover war zones must be reasonably secure that the US military is doing everything possible to ensure their safety.
Independent and accurate news coverage of military conflicts depends on the ability of journalists, no matter what news outlet they work for, and no matter their country of origin, to stay out of harm’s way and to work free from fear that they are being targeted.
We, the undersigned who work for (insert name of country and media or union and names of board members) have not forgotten the sacrifice of those who gave their lives to report on the Iraq war and its aftermath.
We call upon the Pentagon to make public the results of its own investigations.
We again call for an independent investigation of all so-called "friendly fire" incidents involving journalists and US troops.
We demand to know what steps, if any, have been taken by the US government to reduce the likelihood that tragedies such as the Palestine Hotel will not occur in other conflicts.
These actions are necessary both to provide closure for the families and colleagues of those who died trying to tell the story in Iraq and to minimise the risk to media workers in the future.
To Sign the petition - Email toRobert Shaw (Subject - Support for Iraq Petition)