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Copyright 2005 Mumia Abu-Jamal/Prison Radio

"Targeting Journalist II"

  rec 4-15-05 

1) short essay MP3

2) long essay MP3

 

TARGETING JOURNALISTS *(2)
==========================
[Col. Writ. 4/14/05] Copyright 2005 Mumia Abu-Jamal

   When journalists went to cover the Iraq War (Pt. II), most perhaps felt some fear of violence stemming from the hard-boiled insurgency.  But given their class perspective, it's fair to guess that few feared they would become the targets, not of Iraqi nationalists trying to purge the land of foreigners, but of American troops, who through imperial arrogance, fear, or sheer loathing of the Fourth Estate, made them targets in the continuing war.

   The International Federation of Journalists, a body which represents over 500,000 journalists in over 110 countries, recently released a letter to the imperial president, George W. Bush, which called for the US government to provide"credible and convincing" reports on incidents in which 14 media people have been killed since the March 2003 invasion.

   The IFJ's General Secretary, Aidan White, in his letter to the US President, wrote, "The United States stands accused of failing to meet its obligations to deliver justice and
fair treatment to the victims of violence by its own soldiers."

   The IFJ released its letter on April 8th, 2 years to the date of the US attack on Baghdad's
Palestine Hotel, where dozens of reporters and other media folks were staying, as they
reported on the US invasion of the Arab nation.  In that attack, 2 journalists were killed, and others wounded.  On that same day, US fighter planes attacked the Baghdad offices of the Arab satellite network, Al-Jazeera, where another journalist was killed.  According to the IFJ, there are at least 11 other cases where journalists were killed by US forces, with little or no explanation.

   According to the IFJ, the US responded to these killings of journalists by "whitewash" reports, if any reports were released at all! The IFJ referred to such efforts as "paltry", and "cruelly insensitive" of the US government towards the relatives and colleagues of the media victims.


   Nor did the IFJ dismiss the violence of Iraqi insurgents and nationalists, who have also targeted journalists to put pressure on their home governments to withdraw, and sometimes, because these news agencies quietly pay ransom money.

   The IFJ announced: "We condemn unreservedly those attacks and the people behind the current wave of hostage taking which was seen in the kidnapping of our colleagues Florence Aubenas, of Liberation, her driver Hussein Hanoun as well as Romanian reporters Eduard
Ohanesian of Romania Liberia, Marie- Jeanne Ion and Sorin Miscoci of Prima TV."

   On the day of its release, the papers were packed with coverage of the late Pope, John Paul II.  If there were some pages, or some moments left over, embattled pop star Michael Jackson's trial took up the slack.

   And  yet it is telling the American journalists did not make note of the deaths and sufferings of their colleagues, *often at the hands of their government*.

   It proved, if proof was ever needed, that many US journalists owe their allegiance, not to their profession, but to their corporate owners, and the Empire. Those men and women, European, Arabs, reporters, writers, and photographers, don't count.

   If they did, their names would ring with familiarity to you.  I'd bet it doesn't.

   The IFJ, and the other international group, Reporters Without Borders, have launched campaigns about Florence Aubenas with Iraqi translator Hussein Hanoun, who have now spent four desperate months in captivity.  Her captives released a moving video showing
her pleading for her life in English, saying,  "My health is very bad.  I'm very bad
psychologically also.  Please help me." Although her plea was to French members
of parliament, it was also a plea to the journalistic community, which has apparently turned a deaf ear.

   As has also, come to think of it, the US government.
Copyright 2005 Mumia Abu-Jamal
*(2) added by Sis. Marpessa

[Check out Mumia's latest: *WE WANT FREEDOM:
A Life in the Black Panther Party*, from South
End Press (http://www.southendpress.org); Ph.
#1-800-533-8478.]
===============================

"When a cause comes along and you know in your bones that it is
just, yet refuse to defend it--at that moment you begin to die.
And I have never seen so many corpses walking around talking about
justice." - Mumia Abu-Jamal

MUMIA'S COLUMNS NEED TO BE PUBLISHED AS BROADLY
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========================================

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==============================================>

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Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa

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The Power of Truth is Final — Free Mumia!

PLEASE CONTACT:
International Concerned Family & Friends of MAJ
P.O. Box 19709
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Phone - 215-476-8812/ Fax - 215-476-6180
E-mail - AND OFFER YOUR SERVICES!

Send our brotha some LOVE and LIGHT at:
Mumia Abu-Jamal
AM 8335
SCI-Greene
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370

WE WHO BELIEVE IN FREEDOM CAN *NOT* REST!!

Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa