On August 17, 2003, Mazen Dana, one of the cameramen featured in FRONTLINE/World's "In the Line of Fire," was shot and killed by U.S. troops in Baghdad. An award-winning Reuters journalist, Dana was filming in western Baghdad outside a prison that recently had come under mortar attack. U.S. soldiers reportedly mistook Dana's camera for a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.
Mazen Dana filming an altercation in the West Bank in 2001.
News of Dana's death hit particularly hard in Hebron, the West Bank city where Dana lived with his family and filmed the clashes between Israelis and Palestinians, often endangering his own life. Dana told FRONTLINE/World reporter Patricia Naylor that in the fall of 2000, at the beginning of the current intifada, he was shot
two days in a row. He also survived countless subsequent attacks.
Media groups around the world have called for a full investigation into Dana's death. One of these groups, the Committee to Protect Journalists, honored Mazen Dana with its International Press Freedom Award in 2001.
Mazen Dana receiving the Committee to Protect Journalists' 2001 International Press Freedom Award.
As of the original March 2003 broadcast of "In the Line of Fire," Dana had been reassigned away from the streets of the West Bank for his own safety. Dana was not in favor of the decision, telling Naylor, "My family is happy about this, but really, I'm not happy, because I like camera, and I like it here. When I want to leave camera, I want to leave it by myself, not be forced to leave it." Dana's partner, Reuters journalist Nael Shyouki, who was also featured in "In the Line of Fire," was on location with Dana at the time of his death.
"In the Line of Fire" -- featuring Dana, Shyouki and other Palestinian cameramen -- is available online in its entirety in streaming video format.
More information about Mazen Dana's death is available from the following sources:
"U.S. Troops Shoot Dead Reuters Cameraman in Iraq"
Reuters, August 17, 2003
"Death of Journalist Killed by G.I.'s Prompts Calls for Inquiry"
The New York Times, August 18, 2003
CPJ calls for full and public investigation into Mazen Dana's death
Protest letter from Committee to Protect Journalists to U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, August 18, 2003
"US troops 'crazy' in killing of cameraman"
The Guardian, August 19, 2003
"Cameraman's Death Brings Demand for Public Inquiry"
The New York Times, August 19, 2003
"U.S. Military Probes Cameraman's Death"
Washington Post, August 19, 2003
"Reuters Cameraman, Killed in Iraq, Buried in Hebron"
Reuters, August 20, 2003
"Reuters Urges Rumsfeld to Probe Cameraman's Death"
Reuters, August 20, 2003