31 August 2005
On Sunday, Reuters soundman Waleed Khaled, was killed by five shots fired by US snipers in Iraq. His colleague, cameraman Haidar Kadhem, survived a shot in the back, but has now been detained by American forces without explanation. According to the International Federation of Journalists this brings the number of journalists killed by American troops to 18. And it's caused all the major international freedom of the press organisations, including IFEX, Reporters Without Borders, and the Committe to Protect Journalists to raise questions about not just the killings, but the "wall of silence" they are met with whenever they demand inquiries into their deaths. A statement from the IFJ on Monday says: "The IFJ acknowledges that many of the incidents may have been unavoidable in the context of the war, but in a number of cases there are serious questions still to be dealt with that have given rise to suggestions of deliberate targeting of media staff." It would be nice to know what's going on. Ever since a US missile hit Al Jazeera's offices in Kabul in 2001, it's hard not to suspect the worst. Then again, if you look at the high number of soldiers killed in "friendly fire" or "fratricide" maybe something else entirely is to blame.