An Iraqi news cameraman employed by Associated Press died Thursday defending his home and neighborhood against Al Qaeda insurgents. His family and friends said he died a martyr’s death, and laid a bullet on his chest as a symbol of his heroism.
But his employer behaved differently. Rather than reporting that Saif Mohammed Fakhry had died a hero, fighting rifle in hand, against the enemies of the Iraqi government and of the United States, the Associated Press misleading described him as just another victim, killed senselessly walking to a nearby mosque on his day off.
An Associated Press Television News cameraman was killed in Baghdad on Thursday while walking to a mosque near his home on his day off.
Saif M. Fakhry, 26, was the fifth AP employee to die violently in the Iraq war and the third killed since December.
“Our heartfelt sympathies go out to Saif’s wife and family and his colleagues in Iraq,” said AP President and CEO Tom Curley.
“This is a particularly dangerous time in a place that already is unimaginably dangerous. Saif’s death reminds us again of the risks and hardships that accompany vital frontline journalism and of the gratitude we all owe to those who do it.”
Family members said Fakhry, who worked for APTN since August 2004, was spending the day with his wife, Samah Abbas, who is pregnant with their first child and expecting in June.
According to his family, Fakhry was walking to a mosque in the Baghdad neighborhood of Amariyah when he was shot. Gunmen had been involved in fighting in the area around his home for two days, but it was not clear who fired the shots that killed Fakhry.
But his brothers, Omar and Yasser, both also journalists, told Jane Arraf that he had gone out armed into the street to defend his neighborhood against Al Qaeda terrorists.
â€œI told him to stay inside â€“ that the fighting was none of our business,â€ he told me, still sobbing. â€œHe was a peaceful man but he said: â€˜They are killing us every day â€“ we live like this with no electricity, with no water and they are killing us.â€
Saif had gone into the street carrying the rifle that each family in Baghdad is allowed to own. …
One of the imams leading the group said they killed an al-Qaeda leader and two other al-Qaeda members in the clashes Thursday.
Saif, who drew his last breath in a mosque after fighting for his home, died a martyrâ€™s death. His friends laid a bullet on his chest.
His brother Omar mourns over Saif Fahkry’s body
The Associated Press chooses to deny the honor due to the courage of its own employee in order to avoid confirming truths about the War in Iraq inconvenient to its customarily prejudiced perspective. What a disgrace to their profession and their humanity.