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Iraq3 January 2009

US military urged to discipline soldiers who shot woman journalist in Baghdad

Reporters Without Borders calls on the US military high command to discipline the US soldiers who shot and seriously wounded TV journalist Hadeel Emad yesterday in Baghdad. Emad works as a producer for Beladi TV, owned by former Prime Minister Ibrahim Jafari.

“The US military said Emad ignored the orders to stop given by its soldiers but how could she have complied when her hearing is impaired?” Reporters Without Borders said. “An unarmed person’s failure to immediately respond to a warning is anyway not grounds for opening fire on them. We hope Emad recovers quickly from her injuries and we offer her colleagues our sympathy. Above all, we call on the US military to shed light on this disgraceful incident and to adopt the necessary disciplinary measures.”

The incident occurred at a checkpoint jointly manned by US soldiers and Iraqi police in the central Baghdad district of Karada.

According to Beladi TV, the US soldiers initially fired in the air but Emad, 25, did not hear the shots because her hearing is impaired. When she did not heed their warning shots, the soldiers then fired two shots in her directing, hitting her in the chest. She was rushed to a Baghdad hospital where her condition was said to be critical.

Agence France-Presse today quoted a US military spokesman as saying soldiers opened fire on Emad because she was “behaving erratically.” The management of Beladi TV said it wanted to “know the reasons for this criminal act.”




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