View Full Version : Cameraman Killed By Us Troops
08-19-2003, 11:48 PM
BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters) -- Reuters cameraman Mazen Dana, an award-winning journalist who had covered some of the world's hottest spots, has been shot dead while filming near a U.S.-run prison on the outskirts of Baghdad.
Eyewitnesses said Dana, 43, was shot by soldiers on an American tank as he filmed outside Abu Ghraib prison in western Baghdad.
His last pictures show a U.S. tank driving towards Dana outside the prison walls. Several shots ring out from the tank, and Dana's camera falls to the ground.
The U.S. military acknowledged on Sunday that its troops had "engaged" a Reuters cameraman, saying they had thought his camera was a rocket propelled grenade launcher.
"Army soldiers engaged an individual they thought was aiming an RPG at them. It turned out to be a Reuters cameraman," navy captain Frank Thorp, a spokesman for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Reuters in Washington.
Journalists had gone to the prison after the U.S. military said a mortar bomb attack there a day before had killed six Iraqis and wounded 59 others.
Recounting the moments before the shooting, Reuters soundman Nael al-Shyoukhi, who was working with Dana, said he had asked a U.S. soldier near the prison if they could speak to an officer and was told they could not.
"They saw us and they knew about our identities and our mission," Shyoukhi said. The incident happened in the afternoon in daylight.
The soldier agreed to their request to film an overview of the prison from a bridge nearby.
"After we filmed we went into the car and prepared to go when a convoy led by a tank arrived and Mazen stepped out of the car to film. I followed him and Mazen walked three to four meters (yards). We were noted and seen clearly," Shyoukhi said.
"A soldier on the tank shot at us. I lay on the ground. I heard Mazen and I saw him scream and touching his chest.
"I cried at the soldier, telling him you killed a journalist. They shouted at me and asked me to step back and I said 'I will step back, but please help, please help and stop the bleed'.
"They tried to help him but Mazen bled heavily. Mazen took a last breath and died before my eyes."
08-20-2003, 12:23 AM
And so what are you saying? That this surprises you ?
It's a war zone. There are guns, tanks, aircraft, lot's of destructive forces and tools.
Good chance there are some very frightened soldiers there too ;)
Was it smart to be pointing anything at a tank when you probably look Iraqi?
Check the names.
08-20-2003, 02:32 AM
That makes like 17 journalists killed by US forces
maybe the inability to distinguish between cameras and weapons also impeeds the US forces ability to secure the terrirory, or maybe observation is just unwelcome
for forces supposedly attempting to bring peace and stability it's pretty lame
and balamm this guy had been documenting the israel palestine conflict for at least a decade
so he was no new-comer to danger in his job, and being palestinian and having documented israeli forces would mean he was well aware of how he may be percieved as a threat [and he wasn't killed by israelis which is how most palestinians get killed :: though usually with US hardware]
i think it just goes further in demonstrating that the occupation forces are made up of scared trigger happy kids who don't want to be there
I hereby instruct ALL U.S. forces in Iraq to remove, with all haste, the inherent danger of close proximity to ubiquitous weaponry.
This stuff will continue to happen; journalists and their entourages are paid (or so they seem to think) to stick their noses as close to the fanblade as possible.
No-this didn't have to happen-could this journalist have exercised better judgement in positioning himself?
It would seem so.
08-20-2003, 12:28 PM
Seems to me it's an occupational hazard of war journalists.
They are very brave people to put their lives on the line to bring us information.
As to the rights and wrongs well thatís in the hands their commanders who will investigate and also the consciences of the troops involved.
Only they know the perceived threat at the time.
It is a combat zone and life and death judgements have to be made on the spot.
Well put, Neil.
Would that common sense were rationed on a par with their daring.
08-20-2003, 06:45 PM
or maybe observation is just unwelcome
Taken out of context, its true...but even if this were so, no civilized army (which the US is) could find enough men at the right place at the right time to commit this type of murder, so that theory is a non starter.
08-20-2003, 07:14 PM
It is probably only fair to point out that a fair number of US and UK troops have died in similar circumstances.
Not everybody is a top gun and the necessities of war dictate that the bottom guns get live ammo too. There will be more mistakes and plain accidents before this show is over.
It is an unfortunate fact that professional camera equipment looks like a Milan anti tank round. This is in fact a piece of UK kit and not a Chinese RPG launcher but there are a lot of jumpy young soldiers out there who will simply be aware that they have seen something like it before.
War correspondents have always had a risky job - it is not a job for those allergic to adrenalin.
Would this be a good time to point out that Iraqi civilians are dying every day after being shot while walking down the street. And they are not carrying anything that looks like a Milan anti-tank round, Chinese RPG launcher or even a water pistol.
This is according to the same news bulletin which originally reported the death of Reuters cameraman Mazen Dana.
Apparently, the Iraqi death rate from this sort of action is similar to that under Saddam Hussein's regime over the past few years. Hardly surprising that the occupying forces are not too popular.
08-20-2003, 11:09 PM
Yes, Iraqi children along with other civilians are dying every day after being shot while walking down the street
Originally posted by Infoshop.Org
I think that it is worthy noting that this shooting happened at Abu Ghraib prison. Abu Ghraib prison is the most notorious prison in Iraq. because all of the human rights abuses that happened there. I went to Iraq in October 2002 and I went to this prison to see the prisoners released. The prison was seriously filthy. There was a pile of trash the they had shoveled out of the inside. the pile was about 20 feet tall and 50 feet wide. The inside of the prison was crazy too. There weren't individual cells, the were huge open rooms in which each person had about a 7x7ft space on the floor. (to see video go to www.iraqjournal.org and find the video story, i was with the people who did Iraq journal.)
Besides taking over the most notorious prison in Iraq Bremer and 600 others are living in Saddam's old palace in Baghdad. And by about a month ago they had been paid about $300 million.
The occupation with the US is even worse than with Saddam. I know most of us know all of this. The food basket which UNICEF says 90% of the population are completely dependent is no longer being distributed.
A comment from the Infoshop.Org Newswire.
08-20-2003, 11:23 PM
Reuters Cameraman Killed For Filming U.S. Graves: Brother
AL-KHALIL, West Bank, August 19 (IslamOnline.net) - The brother of Reuters cameraman Mazen Dana said he was deliberately murdered for discovering mass graves of U.S. troops killed in Iraqi resistance attacks.
"The U.S. troops killed my brother in cold blood," Nazmi Dana told IslamOnline.net in exclusive statements.
"The U.S. occupation troops shot dead my brother on purpose, although he was wearing his press badge, which was also emblazoned on the car he was driving," he said.
More: http://www.islam-online.net/English/News/2...article08.shtml (http://www.islam-online.net/English/News/2003-08/19/article08.shtml)
Mazen Dana is not the only reporter killed by U.S. Troops
PARIS, April 8 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) - The killing of three journalists Tuesday, April 8, in two separate attacks by U.S. forces triggered a torrent of criticism from international media watchdogs and officials....
The Union of Syrian Journalists (USJ) also charged that "the U.S.-led invading forces are killing journalists in Iraq to suppress the truth about civilian massacres."
More: http://www.islamonline.net/English/News/20...article17.shtml (http://www.islamonline.net/English/News/2003-04/08/article17.shtml) (Old Story)
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