Families of six journalists killed or missing after US gunfire urge Congress to act

first_img December 28, 2020 Find out more Help by sharing this information Receive email alerts Follow the news on Iraq News IraqMiddle East – North Africa RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” Families of six journalists killed by US forces in Iraq went to the US Congress, at the initiative of Reporters Without Borders, to voice their “distress at the silence, omissions and falsehoods of the US Administration.” The journalists‚ wives and children are demanding more information about the deaths of their loved-ones. Iraq : Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan April 8, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Families of six journalists killed or missing after US gunfire urge Congress to act RSF_en December 16, 2020 Find out morecenter_img News Three jailed reporters charged with “undermining national security” News News Organisation to go further IraqMiddle East – North Africa Related documents Letter to US CongressPDF – 65.72 KB February 15, 2021 Find out more The families of six journalists who were killed or disappeared as a result of US gunfire in Iraq called on the US Congress today to thoroughly investigate the incidents.They said they were “deeply dismayed and grieved” about “the silence, lack of information and untruths” emanating from the US government about their loved ones.The letter, signed by the wives and children of the journalists, backed by Reporters Without Borders and sent to members of the House of Representatives, deplored the fact that investigations so far had been hasty and had always concluded that the US army was not at fault and had simply acted in “legitimate self-defence.”The families called for further information and serious investigations to establish full responsibility for the deaths, which occurred between 22 March and 17 April last year while the men were reporting on the war in Iraq. Journalists Fred Nérac and Hussein Osman disappeared on 22 March when they were caught in gunfire between US Marines and Iraqi fighters.The letter was released today to mark the anniversary of a tragic day for the media in Iraq. On April 8 last year, three journalists were killed in Baghdad when US forces bombed the office of the pan-Arab TV station Al-Jazeera and opened fire from a tank on the Palestine Hotel where many journalists were staying.The wives and children said in the letter that “what happened to Tarek, Mazen, Terry, Fred, Hussein and Taras cannot be dismissed as just ‘regrettable incidents.’ A few half-hearted apologies and supposed enquiries that always conclude the Army acted in accordance with the rules of warfare and in ‘legitimate self-defense’ are not enough. On the contrary, they fill us with bitterness and deepen our grief.””Can we not expect a leading democracy claiming to defend freedom around the world to honestly admit its mistakes and take full responsibility for them?” they asked.”Time has stopped for us and despite your silence we will not allow the loss of our loved ones to be forgotten. We ask you to give us further information, reopen the prematurely-closed investigations and take all necessary steps to see these tragedies are not repeated.”Reporters Without Borders calls on the US Congress to consider carefully the legitimate requests of these families and to respond to them quickly and effectively and with humanity.The press freedom organisation noted that Iraq is currently one of the world’s most dangerous places for journalists. Four have been killed there since the beginning of this year, two and probably three by US gunfire. Reporters Without Borders has several times expressed concern at the aggressive attitude of US troops in Iraq and the lack of clear rules to ensure the safety of journalists. The letter to Congress was signed by:- Dima Tahboub-Ayyoub, wife of Al-Jazeera correspondent Tarek Ayyoub, who was killed in Baghdad on 8 April 2003.- Suzan Dana, wife of Reuters cameraman Mazen Dana, killed in Baghdad on 17 August.- Chelsey Lloyd, daughter of senior reporter Terry Lloyd, of the British TV station ITN, killed near Basra on 22 March.- Fabienne Nérac, wife of French cameraman Fred Nérac, who vanished near Basra on 22 March.- Samira Kaderi-Osman, wife of Lebanese interpreter Hussein Osman, who vanished near Basra on 22 March.- Lidya Litvinchuk, wife of Reuters cameraman Taras Protsyuk, killed in Baghdad on 8 April. Read the original letter to the US Congress : last_img