CPJ investigating bombing of Iraqi television facility

New York, March 26, 2003—The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is currently investigating the U.S. and coalition forces’ bombing last night (U.S. time) of Iraqi state-run television facilities.

According to The Associated Press (AP), last night’s attack knocked Iraq’s 24-hour satellite channel, which broadcasts outside the country, off the air for eight hours. Domestic television resumed broadcasting this morning as scheduled, the AP reported.

“Broadcast media is protected from attack under international humanitarian law,” said CPJ’s acting director Joel Simon, “and cannot be targeted unless it is being used for military purposes.” Propaganda, added Simon, is not a military function.

The U.S. military, however, maintains that the broadcast facility it targeted was involved in command and control functions of the Iraqi military but has not provided any specific details. CPJ is looking into this allegation.