US journalist in Basra, kidnapped and executed, his body dumped on the side of the highway. His interpreter was shot and is in serious condition in hospital. He is the 64th media person killed in Iraq, the first American journalist.

Vincent was a free-lance journalist who told the truth about the Iraqi security in Basra. That it is infiltrated with Shia extremists who were executing former Baathists.


Vincent had written for Chrisitan Science Monitor and the New York Times. His latest book about Iraq is entitled “In the Red Zone.”

Mr. Vincent is the first American reporter to be killed in Iraq. Others have died from vehicle accidents or illnesses. In August 2004, an Italian journalist was abducted and murdered as he drove south of Baghdad to report on a Shiite revolt in Najaf.

“We of course are deeply saddened by it and have already notified the family and have extended our deepest condolences,” said Pete Mitchell, a spokesman for the American embassy. “We’re working very closely with Iraqi officials in Basra and with the British government to determine who might be responsible for this heinous crime.” New York Times

Mr Vincent also criticised the UK forces, who are responsible for security in Basra, for ignoring abuses of power by Shia extremists.


The organisation [Reporters Without Borders] also paid homage to Steven, describing him as a courageous reporter and writer who had never hesitated to go to difficult places such as Iraq in order to cover the life of their inhabitants.

“This murder once again shows that journalists pay a very high price to report in Iraq,” Reporters Without Borders said. “It is absolutely appalling that insurgents use this kind of barbaric violence against people whose job is just to observe and report, and who just carry a notebook and pen.” Reporters Without Borders

Here is Steven Vincent’s recent OpEd in the New York Times.

Switched Off in Basra […]
From another view, however, security sector reform is failing the very people it is intended to serve: average Iraqis who simply want to go about their lives. As has been widely reported of late, Basran politics (and everyday life) is increasingly coming under the control of Shiite religious groups, from the relatively mainstream Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq to the bellicose followers of the rebel cleric Moktada al-Sadr. Recruited from the same population of undereducated, underemployed men who swell these organizations’ ranks, many of Basra’s rank-and-file police officers maintain dual loyalties to mosque and state.

In May, the city’s police chief told a British newspaper that half of his 7,000-man force was affiliated with religious parties. This may have been an optimistic estimate: one young Iraqi officer told me that “75 percent of the policemen I know are with Moktada al-Sadr – he is a great man.” And unfortunately, the British seem unable or unwilling to do anything about it. […]

Update [2005-8-4 13:17:34 by sybil]: Talking Points Memo Café has a blog in memory of Steven Vincent

RIP Steven Vincent

By toppa

From: Top Reader Blogs

Steven Vincent was one of the very few Iraq reporters brave enough to venture outside the Baghdad Green Zone these days. As has been widely reported, he was killed yesterday in Basra. What hasn’t been as widely noted is what a great reporter he was. It’s quite likely that his Switched Off is Basra editorial in last Sunday’s New York Times – in which he described how much of the Basra police force is little more than an extension of the extreme Shiite religious parties – is what got him killed.[…]

Check his blog In the Red Zone and especially his last entry The Naive American.

Rest in peace Steven Vincent, brave journalist and thank you for bringing us your search for the truth.

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