On 30 July 2011, NATO hit broadcasting facilities of the Libyan al-Jamahiriya state television. According to the TV station, 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:
Statement by the Employees of the Libyan Broadcasting Authority
(dated 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 anit-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
- The Associated Press (30 Jul 2011). “NATO bombs Libyan state TV transmitters”.
- NATO (30 Jul 2011). “NATO strikes Libyan state TV satellite facility”.
- Reporters Without Borders (1 Aug 2011). “NATO attacks on national TV headquarters and installations in Tripoli”.
- Slobodan Lekic (4 Aug 2011). “Media group slams NATO bombing of Libyan TV”. The Associated Press.
Ask international journalists to take a stand!
We’ve contacted a couple of international journalists reporting on Libya on Twitter, prompting them for a statement:
- C.J. Chivers of The New York Times, @cjchivers
- Ivan Watson of CNN, @IvanCNN
- Hoda Abdel-Hamid of Al Jazeera English, @HodaAbdelHamid
- Ali Hashem of Al Jazeera, @alihashem_AJA
- James Bays of Aljazeera English, @baysontheroad
- Piers Scholfield of BBC, @inglesi
- Brian Conley of smallworldnews.com, @BaghdadBrian
- Daniel Fisher of the BBC, @dhdfisher
Of these journalists, only Ali Hashem of Al Jazeera replied: “I condemn openly any attack on journalists or media outlets regardless of their political background”