Saturday, May 19, 2007

Targeting Journalists, Silencing Truth

Alaa Uldeen Aziz, Left & Saif Laith Yousuf, right
This undated handout photo provided by ABC
shows the two Iraqi journalists working for ABC,
who were ambushed and killed
as they drove home from work in Baghdad Thursday.

Two more journalists were senselessly slaughtered in Baghdad on Thursday. They were run down by two carloads of gunmen, forced from their vehicle and gunned down in the street. The murders of cameraman Alaa Uldeen Aziz, 33, and soundman Saif Laith Yousuf, 26 brought to 104 the number of journalists killed while covering the four year old Iraq war. Of that number, 82 have been Iraqis and 61 have been killed covering the violence in Baghdad. In addition to the 104 journalists who have perished, 32 media assistants – locals who serve as drivers, guards, guides and interpreters – have died in the service of reporting the war as well.

"Many places in Baghdad are just too dangerous for foreigners to go now, so we have Iraqi camera crews who very bravely go out, and without them we are blind," ABC Baghdad correspondent Terry McCarthy said.

The loss of any journalist is tragic. The loss of these men to deliberate, cold-blooded murder should hit us all in the gut.

Godspeed, Gentlemen. With reverence.

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