Sunday, July 03, 2005

IFJ: American soldiers have killed 17 media staff in Iraq - Irna

IFJ: American soldiers have killed 17 media staff in Iraq - Irna

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is calling on the United States to investigate three new cases of journalists killed in Iraq over the past week - all of them at the hands of American soldiers.

The first reported victim is Yasser Salihee, an Iraqi special correspondent for the United States media company Knight Ridder, was shot to death in Baghdad last Friday, apparently by a US sniper.

On Sunday, Maha Ibrahim, a news editor with the local Baghdad TV channel, owned by the Iraqi Islamic Party, was on her way to work when she was killed when US troops opened fire after they apparently came under attack in a Baghdad neighbourhood.

And on Tuesday this week US troops reportedly killed Ahmed Wael Bakri, a programme director for al-Sharqiya television when he drove near a US convoy in Baghdad.

The IFJ in a statement noted that this brings to 17 the number of journalists and media staff killed by US soldiers since the invasion of Iraq.

"All of these cases need to be investigated independently because they involve reports of action by US troops," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary.

Of the 85 media deaths in Iraq since the US invasion, 65 are local Iraqi journalists and media staff.

"There are many questions raised by these cases, said White.

"We expect the United States to produce credible and exhaustive reports on all of these deaths. It is the least the family, friends and colleagues of the victims expect."
The Brussels-based IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in over 100 countries.


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