Reporters Committee attorneys represent journalist Azmat Khan in FOIA lawsuit for records on civilian casualties in Iraq and Syria

Attorneys for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press have filed a lawsuit on behalf of award-winning freelance journalist Azmat Khan against the United States Department of Defense and Central Command (CENTCOM) after the agencies failed to comply with her Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for records related to civilian casualties in the U.S-led campaign against ISIS. 

Khan submitted three FOIA requests to CENTCOM between March 2017 and March 2018 seeking records regarding its reporting procedures, credibility assessments, and closure reports for allegations of civilian deaths stemming from U.S.-led Coalition airstrikes in Iraq and Syria as part of “Operation Inherent Resolve.” 

Khan submitted two of the three requests following The New York Times Magazine’s publication of “The Uncounted,” her 18-month investigation with fellow freelance journalist Anand Gopal, which found that one in five Coalition airstrikes they identified resulted in civilian casualties — a rate 31 times that reported by the Coalition. The investigation also revealed “a consistent failure by the coalition to investigate claims [of civilian deaths] properly or to keep records that make it possible to investigate the claims at all.” Read more…