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Rumsfeld to address Iraq journalist detentions, accidental killings

[JURIST] Sen. John Warner (R-VA) [official website], chairman of the US Senate Armed Forces Committee, said Thursday that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld [official profile] has promised to give "immediate consideration" to concerns about the increased detentions [JURIST report] and accidental shootings of journalists covering the conflict in Iraq. Representatives from Reuters and the Committee to Protect Journalists [advocacy website, press release] have complained to Warner [Reuters report] about "a long parade of disturbing incidents whereby professional journalists have been killed, wrongfully detained, and/or illegally abused by US forces in Iraq." Gen. George Casey [Washington Post report], the top US commander in Iraq, also said the concerns would be taken "very seriously" and promised to work with local journalists when he returned to Iraq. At least 66 journalists and media workers have been killed in Iraq since the invasion began in March 2003. At least seven journalists have been detained this year, with four still in custody. Reuters has called for Rumsfeld to resolve the problem in a way that balances the security interests of US forces in Iraq with "the equally legitimate rights of journalists in conflict zones under international law." Reuters has more.

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