Reuters cameraman murdered by US forces in Baghdad

Sean Noonan snnoonan at msn.com
Mon Aug 18 03:24:14 MDT 2003


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The journalist killed, Mazen Dana, was my friend's brother.

Mazen Dana worked for 14 years as a journalist for Reuters, in Palestine
and throughout the Middle East.  Mazen did most of his work in his
hometown of Hebron and in other cities in the occupied West Bank.  While
working as a journalist in Palestine Mazen was the target of Israeli
violence on literally hundreds of occasions.  Mazen was:

* Shot by Israeli soldiers firing M-16s on three occasions.  Shot by
* Israeli soldiers firing plastic bullets in more than twenty incidents
* Beaten by Israelis settlers and soldiers on numerous of occasions Had
* his ankles, both legs, both hands, several ribs and skull fractured in
* these attacks Arrested over 70 times Detained without charge or
* conviction ranging from 1 day to several months

In 2001 Mazen was recognized for his unrelenting commitment to exposing
the truth of Israeli occupation when the Committee to Project
Journalists gave him the International Press Freedom Award.

Since May of 2003 Mazen and his longtime colleague from Hebron, Nael
al-Shyoukhi, had traveled to Iraq and reported on the U.S. military
occupation of that country a number of times.

On August 17th after several face-to-face verbal exchanges with
U.S. troops where Dana and Shyoukhi received permission to tape the
U.S. run prison camp, a tank mounted machine gunner opened fire on Dana,
puncturing his torso with multiple large caliber high velocity rounds.
Mazen Dana bled to death a few minutes later.

The initial U.S. army claim was that Dana was mistaken for an Iraqi
holding a rocket propelled grenade launcher.  However, once other
journalists on the scene quickly pointed out that Dana had just talked
with U.S. soldiers only moments before his death, the official Army
spokesperson quickly withdrew this story and now will only say that an
investigation is underway.  Clearly, the killing of Mazen Dana is a
message sent to all journalists covering the U.S. occupation of Iraq.
Any investigation or media coverage of the cold reality of occupation is
being curbed by the possibility of assassination by the U.S. army.  So
far, USUK occupation forces have killed 17 journalists working in Iraq.

Mazen leaves behind his wife Suzanne, four children and the entire Dana
clan of Hebron, occupied Palestine.





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