Ciar Byrne, Media
Friday June 27, 2003
BBC world affairs editor John Simpson has called on the US government
to investigate why more journalists were killed by American soldiers
than by any other means during the Iraq war.
Simpson blamed the deaths
of many of the journalists - what he called "the ultimate act
- on the system of embedding, which meant that journalists operating
independently of US and British troops became "potential targets".
Of the 16 journalists who
lost their lives within the space of just 21 days in the Gulf conflict,
five died as a result of "depressingly explainable" accidents,
three were killed by the Iraqis and seven died at the hands of the
American forces, according to Simpson.
The sixteenth, Australian
photojournalist Paul Moran, died when a suicide bomber blew him up
in northern Iraq.
"In this war, the Americans
were more than twice as dangerous to the proper exercise of journalism,
the freedom of reporters to see for themselves what was happening,
as the Iraqis were," said Simpson, delivering the Reuters memorial
lecture today at St Catherine's College, Oxford.
The veteran war correspondent
was himself injured in a "friendly fire" incident, in which
the BBC's Kurdish translator, Kamran Abdurrazak Muhammed, was killed
by a bomb dropped by a US warplane....