Probe into journalists' deaths begins

By John Szemerey

The first session of the International News Safety Institute’s
(INSI) global inquiry into the deaths of journalists around the world
got underway in Doha, Qatar, last week.

Reporters and cameramen gave evidence in camera of their experiences
of violent ill treatment by the military, insurgents or others in war
or conflict zones in the Middle East in recent years.

Some also
gave first-hand accounts of the killing – often deliberate – of
journalist colleagues and cameramen or photographers at work. Several
criticised US troops for treating journalists, in particular Arab
journalists, as hostile.

The inquiry has been set up by INSIat
the request of all sides of the media industry and others concerned at
the high and growing number of journalists, photographers and helpers
killed while on assignment.

According to INSI, 35 journalists and support staff have already been killed this year.

“We think there is a general lack of concern about media people,” said INSI director, Rodney Pinder.

The
fact-finding session in Doha was the first of the inquiry. Over the
next few months, further sessions will be held in other parts of the
world.

The next session, in September, will be in New York for
Latin American journalists. It is hoped that a report will be produced
in about a year.

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