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US military whistleblowers share video of Reuters staff being killed

Leaked video shows Iraqi journalists killed by US military.
Leaked video shows Iraqi journalists killed by US military.

via IPI

Chilling video footage of the US military killing a dozen Iraqis, including two Reuters staff, was released on 5 April by WikiLeaks, a website that publishes leaked information, report the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). The disturbing video was taken from a US Apache helicopter, and includes heartless commentary from soldiers as they fire on civilians in a Baghdad neighbourhood.

Reuters photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, and his assistant Saeed Chmagh, 40, are seen in the video walking with cameras slung over their shoulders when the voice of a US soldier identifies the cameras as "weapons." Prior to the attack, Chmagh is talking on the phone. Minutes later, a van appears; as two men start carrying a wounded Chmagh to the van, the helicopter fires on the van. Two children were hurt in the subsequent firing.

The US military claims fighting took place between US forces and insurgents. The video shows otherwise. WikiLeaks also spoke to witnesses and journalists directly involved in the episode. "The Guardian" reports the Pentagon has identified WikiLeaks as a threat to national security. Meanwhile, Reuters has been unsuccessful in its attempts to obtain a copy of the video through the Freedom of Information Act.

RSF is calling on the US government to provide greater access to information. "We support WikiLeaks' decision to post the video because the administration did not live up to its responsibilities in this case. We urge the Pentagon to be more transparent and call on the Obama administration to show it's committing to justice by reconsidering the request and officially releasing the video and other elements that would help the investigation."

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