Journalists Condemn “Callous Disregard for Justice” Over Killed and Missing Journalists in Iraq

The International Federation of Journalists today accused Britain and the United States of displaying a “callous disregard for justice” over the continuing mystery regarding the killing of an ITN reporter and the disappearance of two colleagues when they were fired upon by coalition forces in Iraq.

“Almost eight weeks after journalist Terry Lloyd was killed and with still no trace of his cameraman Fred Nerac and translator Hussein Osman there are still no answers to the fundamental questions – who was responsible for this attack and where are our missing colleagues,” said Aidan White, General Secretary of the IFJ.

The IFJ says that the protests of Fred Nerac’s wife Fabienne, who has complained about being ignored by the British Ministry of Defence, the frustration of the teams’ employer ITN, who have received conflicting information, and the strong belief among journalists that the coalition are holding back information, is reinforcing deep-seated resentment over the way attacks on journalists during the war have been treated by the authorities.

“It is impossible not to conclude that after almost two months information is being held back,” said White. “At the very least the lack of co-operation being shown by British officials reflects a callous disregard for justice. We support strongly the demands of the family and colleagues of the victims that these cases must be vigorously and urgently investigated.”

The IFJ says that the killings in Iraq and controversial shootings in Palestine, including the shooting by Israeli soldiers of award-winning film-maker James Miller in Gaza on 2 May, and the killing of Nazih Darwazeh on 19 April in Nablus, make a compelling case for the establishment of an international tribunal to carry out independent investigations whenever a journalist or media person is killed.

“Leaving these matters in the hands of the military and politicians who themselves need to be called to account undermines the credibility of the existing process,” said White. “We need an independent process that can call for evidence, that is open to public scrutiny and that will command the confidence of everyone involved.”

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The IFJ represents more than 500,000 journalists in more than 100 countries