Mazen Dana

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Blog   |   Iraq, USA

Iraq war and news media: A look inside the death toll

An Iraqi journalist walks past a wall of photos of journalists killed during the Iraq War. (AP/Samir Mizban)

The U.S.-led war in Iraq claimed the lives of a record number of journalists and challenged some commonly held perceptions about the risks of covering conflict. Far more journalists, for example, were murdered in targeted killings in Iraq than died in combat-related circumstances. Here, on the 10th anniversary of the start of the war, is a look inside the data collected by CPJ.

Blog   |   Iraq, Security, UAE, USA

FOIA needs new muscle behind it, not just promises

The White House says it wants to improve transparency. Greater access to information could prevent deaths of journalists in the field.These are busy days for Freedom of Information. On April 5, the watchdog Web site that knows no borders, WikiLeaks, posted a classified U.S. military video showing U.S. forces firing on Iraqi civilians, killing many, including two Reuters journalists, as well as wounding children. Two days later, the Pentagon posted a redacted U.S. military assessment of the same incident concluding that U.S. troops fired “in accordance with the law of armed conflict and rules of engagement.” The very same day President Obama hailed the scheduled release of a new Open Government Initiative by all Cabinet agencies to improve transparency and compliance with information requests.

April 26, 2010 10:51 AM ET


Letters   |   Iraq, USA

CPJ seeks Pentagon investigations in Iraq journalist deaths

Dear Secretary Gates: The Committee to Protect Journalists is disturbed by a video recently disclosed by the Web site WikiLeaks showing a U.S. military strike that took place on July 12, 2007. The attack killed an unspecified number of individuals, including Reuters photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen and his assistant, Saeed Chmagh.

April 26, 2010 10:00 AM ET


Alerts   |   Iraq

Five years after deadly Palestine Hotel and Al-Jazeera strikes, unanswered questions linger

New York, April 7, 2008—Five years after a series of U.S. military strikes against media outlets in Baghdad killed three journalists, CPJ calls on the U.S. military to fully investigate the incidents and make its findings public. CPJ also calls on the U.S. military to implement procedures to address the presence of journalists on the battlefield.

On April 8, 2003, a U.S. tank fired a single shell on the Palestine Hotel, the main base for dozens of international journalists covering the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, killing Spanish cameraman José Couso of Telecinco and veteran Reuters cameraman Taras Protsyuk, and wounding three other reporters. A CPJ investigation into the attack, “Permission to Fire,” found that although the attack on the hotel was not deliberate, it could have been avoided and may have been caused by a breakdown in communication within the U.S. Army chain of command.

April 7, 2008 12:00 PM ET


Alerts   |   USA

In clearing soldiers in 2004 Iraq shooting, U.S. report leaves contradictions unaddressed

New York, May 24, 2007—A U.S. military report that exonerated U.S. troops in the killings of two Al-Arabiya journalists at a Baghdad checkpoint in 2004 failed to address contradictory witness reports, including statements from Al-Arabiya employees that at least two U.S. soldiers fired directly on the journalists’ vehicle, newly declassified records show.

The report, disclosed in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from the Committee to Protect Journalists, describes a chaotic scene in which the soldiers targeted a white Volvo that had failed to slow down as it neared the checkpoint. The 117-page report concluded that Al-Arabiya journalists Ali Abdul Aziz and Ali al-Khateeb were killed accidentally in the crossfire and that troops had properly followed the military’s rules of engagement.
May 24, 2007 12:00 PM ET


Alerts   |   Qatar

WHO KILLS JOURNALISTS AND WHY? Report by the Committee to Protect Journalists to the Committee of Inquiry

Doha, Qatar, Monday, May 23, 2005
—The Committee to Protect Journalists has analyzed the deaths of journalists across the world for many years, producing two recent reports that highlight alarming trends in the circumstances, locations, and motives.

At least 339 journalists were killed on duty between 1995 and 2004, according to CPJ research compiled in January. But the vast majority did not die on any battlefield, or while covering a dangerous assignment. They were murdered in cold blood, in reprisal for their work or to prevent them from doing their jobs.

Alerts   |   Iraq

Baghdad shooting highlights checkpoint shortcomings

New York, May 2, 2005—A March 4 shooting in Baghdad in which U.S. forces killed Italian intelligence agent Nicola Calipari and wounded Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena and agent Andrea Carpani might have been avoided if the military had used basic warning measures such as signs and speed bumps to alert civilians to the presence of a roadblock, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

CPJ said the shooting highlights the unnecessary dangers that U.S. roadblocks and checkpoints pose to civilians in Iraq, and it called on the military to address the problem immediately.

May 2, 2005 12:00 PM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   Iraq

Attacks on the Press 2004: Iraq


For the second consecutive year, Iraq was the most dangerous place in the world to work as a journalist, and the conflict there remained one of the most deadly in recent history for the media. Twenty-three journalists were killed in action in 2004, along with 16 media workers.

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