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2003-03-27

U.S. Bombs Iraqi Television Again: International Federation of Journalists Condemns Attack As a Violation of the Geneva Conventions

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US forces bombed Iraqi television broadcast facilities in central Baghdad again last night.

Iraqi TV’s signal was restored around midnight.

Several hours later, a second wave of bombing was launched, and a witness said the Iraqi TV building was in flames and destroyed. But broadcasts resumed in Baghdad this morning, with a shaky picture and no sound.

A U.S. intelligence official told the Los Angeles Times the strikes reflect a new decision by military commanders to disable Iraqi television for the duration of the war.

Meanwhile, in the southern city of Basra, British forces bombed Iraqi state radio and television transmitters, taking both broadcasting outlets off the air.

US and British forces have taken over a number of radio frequencies and are broadcasting their own messages to the people.

The action comes just after the head of the world’s largest journalists’ organization said the attacks on Iraqi television may violate the Geneva Conventions and called for an international investigation.

The International Federation of Journalists said the U.S. bomb and missile attack on Iraqi television on Wednesday was an attempt at censorship and may have breached the Geneva Conventions.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International also condemned the attack on Iraqi television, saying it might constitute a war crime.

A U.S. official in Washington defended the attacks, saying the goal is to damage the government’s command and control capability.

  • Aidan White, General Secretary for the International Federation of Journalists, which represents more than 500,000 journalists in 100 countries.

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