Reuters seeks U.S. army video of staff killed in Iraq
The U.S. military said on Friday it was still processing a request by Reuters for video footage from U.S. helicopters and other materials relating to the killing of two Iraqi staff in Baghdad a year ago.
Reuters photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, and driver Saeed Chmagh, 40, were killed in a U.S. helicopter air strike in eastern Baghdad on July 12, 2007.
Reuters wants all the materials to be able to study what happened. Access to the video, taken from helicopters involved in the attack, could also help improve Reuters’ safety policies in Iraq, the world’s most dangerous country for journalists.
Noor-Eldeen and Chmagh had gone to eastern Baghdad after hearing of a military raid on a building around dawn that day, and were with a group of men at the time. It is believed two or three of these men may have been carrying weapons, although witnesses said none were assuming a hostile posture.
Video from two U.S. Apache helicopters and photographs taken of the scene were shown to Reuters editors in Baghdad on July 25, 2007 in an off-the-record briefing.
U.S. military officers who presented the materials said Reuters had to make a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to get copies. This request was made the same day.
Reuters has not received any formal response in nearly a year.
Reuters is still waiting. The Army is still stonewalling.