Dutch cameraman’s death to be looked into

13th August 2008, Comments 0 comments

The International Federation of Journalists will conduct an investigation into the killing of the Dutch cameraman in Georgia.

13 August 2008

GORI - A Dutch cameraman for television channel RTL was killed and his colleague wounded in a Russian bombardment of the Georgian city of Gori, RTL confirmed Tuesday.

Cameraman Stan Storimans, 39, was fatally hit when the convoy he was riding in was shelled by Russian mortar fire. Reporter Jeroen Akkermans sustained leg wounds. The vehicle's Georgian driver was also wounded.

Akkermans' condition was described as stable, according to Dutch news reports. A Greek reporter in the vehicle was unharmed, according to Georgian news reports.

Eyewitnesses recounted conflicting versions of the incident to a Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa reporter. Some said Storiman's vehicle had been hit by missiles fired by a ground attack aircraft, and others reported the journalists' vehicle had come under ground machine gun fire as it drove through Gori's main town square.

Russian aircraft using rockets or bombs had been carrying out periodic attacks on vehicles in the vicinity during the morning of the attack. Most of the strikes took place shortly after dawn.

Almost all Russian aerial attacks in the Gori region had been launched from aircraft flying at substantial altitude, and using precision-guided weapons. The Russian air force appeared to be concentrating on military targets, Gori residents said.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) later on Tuesday announced it would conduct an investigation into the killing.

Two reporters were killed and five injured during the Ossetia war, officials at the IFJ estimated.

Dutch foreign affairs minister Maxime Verhagen summoned the Russian ambassador in The Hague following the incident.

Dutch European Affairs minister Frans Timmermans has asked the Georgian ambassador in The Hague for assistance to repatriate Storiman's body and the injured Akkermans as soon as possible.

The Dutch government has formally condemned what it called "the excessive use of violence" in Georgia by all parties.

A government spokesman said the Dutch support a "political, not a military solution" to the conflict about the Georgian break-away province of South-Ossetia.

[dpa / Expatica]

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