On July 30, NATO warplanes attacked three transmission towers in Libya. The goal apparently was to knock Libyan state television off the air because, NATO alleged, "it was being used as an integral component of the regime apparatus designed to systematically oppress and threaten civilians and to incite attacks against them."
Today, CPJ sent a letter to NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen requesting additional information about the strike. "As an organization of journalists dedicated the defense of press freedom around the world, we are concerned any time a media facility is the target of a military attack," we wrote. "Such attacks can only be justified under International Humanitarian Law if the media facility to being used for military purposed or to incite violence against the civilian population. For this reason, we believe it is essential for NATO to provide a more detailed explanation as to the basis for July 30 attack on Libyan broadcast facilities."
CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon is one of the world's foremost experts on press freedom. He has written widely on media issues, contributing to Slate, the Columbia Journalism Review, and The New York Review of Books. He has led dozens of international missions to advance press freedom. Follow him on Twitter @Joelcpj.