The attack “was necessary,” said NATO spokesman Colonel Roland Lavoie, “as TV was being used as an integral component of the regime apparatus to systematically oppress and threaten civilians.”Libyan TV station after NATO attack
Statement by the Employees of the Libyan Broadcasting Authority
On 30 July 2011, NATO hit broadcasting facilities of the Libyan al-Jamahiriya state television. Three people were killed and 15 injured during the attack.
NATO said it aimed to degrade Gaddafi’s “use of satellite television as a means to intimidate the Libyan people and incite acts of violence against them”?!?. The original title of its press statement was “NATO silences Gaddafi’s terror broadcasts”. The strike apparently failed to disrupt the television service.
Here’s the official statement of the Libyan state television in response to the attacks:
[source: http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m80195&hd=&size=1&l=e ]Statement by the Employees of the Libyan Broadcasting Authority [30 Jul 2011]In an act of international terrorism and in violation of UNSC resolutions, NATO targeted facilities of the Libyan Broadcasting Authority in the early hours of this morning. 3 of our colleagues were murdered and 15 injured while performing their professional duty as Libyan journalists.
NATO admitted the crime citing “silencing Gaddafi’s propaganda machine” as a justification for such a murderous act.
We are the employees of the official Libyan TV. We are not a military target, we are not commanders in the army and we do not pose threat to civilians. We are performing our job as journalists representing what we wholeheartedly believe is the reality of NATO’s aggression and the violence in Libya.
We have the right to work in a safe environment protected by national and international law. The fact that we work for the Libyan government or represent anti-NATO, anti-armed gangs views does not make us a legitimate target for NATO’s rockets.
As journalists, we demand that we get full protection from the international community and ask our brothers in the profession from all around the world to stand against such attacks targeting media personnel.
Foreign journalists in Tripoli, Reporters without Borders and human rights organisations: we appeal to you to make your moral and professional stand clear on this issue.
We are hopeful that your media organisation will help us highlight this important issue and come out in support of our just cause.
Muhammad Ahmed Mukhtar, Abdelwanis Sulaiman Elsayed, Abdelwahid Muhammad Ali
But NATO and the US have a ling history of attacking the press. On April 23, 1999, during the needless Kosovo War, a NATO missile blew up Serbian Radio and TV in Belgrade, killing 16 people and using the same excuse.
On November 13, 2001, a US missile hit Al-Jazeera’s office in Kabul. On April 8, 2003 a US missile hit an electric generator at Al-Jazeera’s offices in Baghdad leading to the death of one reporter and hurting a second.
In April 2003 they shelled the Basra hotel where Al-Jazeera reporters were the only guests. Al-Jazeera reporters have been arrested with at least one sent to Guantanamo.
On November 22, 2005, according to minutes received by The Daily Mirror , US President George W. Bush, in a White House meeting in April 2004, speculated with his good friend, then UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, about a US bombing raid on Al-Jazeera world headquarter is Doha, Qatar and other locations. The Mirror says Blair convinced Bush to take no action. The UK government run BBC came to the rescue saying that Bush’s comments could have been intended as “some kind of joke.” The Independent countered “official note takers don’t normally record jokes”. The Pentagon denied the story.
On July 12, 2007, a US helicopter killed a group of men in Baghdad including two Reuters staff. The US denied any knowledge of the incident until Wikileaks put the secret helicopter video online showing clearly the US soldiers not only shot unarmed civilians but also shot the wounded and those who came to help them.
Of the 189 journalists killed in Iraq since the invasion, at least 18 have been killed by the US. The Geneva Conventions stipulate that parties that have “no active part in the hostilities” shall “in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, color, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.” This includes journalists and media technicians.