Wednesday, May 07, 2003

British Director of "Armenia: The Betrayed" Shot Dead

May 07, 2003

LONDON (BBC, The Armenian Community-UK)--An investigation into the death of a British cameraman shot by Israeli soldiers has been demanded by UK diplomats and fellow journalists.

James Miller, 34, was killed in the Gaza Strip when an Israeli armored vehicle opened fire and wounded him in the neck, according to reports.

Miller had been making a documentary on house demolitions in Palestinian areas.

Another Briton who had been with Miller said they were waving a white flag and moving towards the Israeli vehicle when it opened fire.

The Israeli army said it had returned fire after being attacked by rocket-propelled grenades and expressed "sorrow at a civilian death".

He was one of the outstanding camera operators of his generation

Aidan White, general secretary of the International Federation of Journalists, called for an independent inquiry after the Israeli army issued its "routine and callous expressions of regret".

He said: "Killing journalists either deliberately or by gross negligence should be made official war crimes under international law."

White said it was a "terrible irony" that Miller died on World Press Freedom Day.

James was an award winning film producer whose recent work included the BBC Correspondent program on the Armenian Genocide, "Armenia: The Betrayed."

To this day he was receiving letters of appreciation for his work on "The Betrayed."

According to his colleague Fergal Keane, they were due to receive medals of honor in Beirut for that film. Keane said "I was fortunate to have worked with James in Turkey for Correspondent. He was truly moved by what he saw in Van and wanted to make more documentaries on the Armenian Genocide."

James Miller is survived by a wife and child.