Britain top Gulf commander slams al Jazeera
Britain's top Gulf commander stepped up a war of words with Al Jazeera television on Thursday, saying the Qatar-based news channel risked becoming a tool for Iraqi propaganda.
Air Marshal Brian Burridge opened a media briefing with a fierce denunciation of al Jazeera for showing "shocking, close-up" pictures of two British soldiers apparently killed in action earlier this week in Iraq.
"Quite apart from the obvious distress that such pictures cause friends and families of the personnel concerned, such disgraceful behavior is a flagrant breach of the Geneva convention," Burridge told reporters at the U.S. Central Command's forward headquarters in Qatar.
Burridge later clarified his statement, saying he held Iraqi authorities responsible for making the video, not Qatar-based al Jazeera for showing it.
"I appreciate that all media outlets have a strong desire for exclusive pictures and we have no desire to limit journalist freedom in any way," Burridge said.
"However, all media outlets must be aware of the limits of taste and decency and be wary that they do not unwittingly become tools for Iraqi propaganda," he added.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair had already expressed "horror" over al Jazeera's decision to show pictures of the bodies. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)