We urge the Israeli authorities to allow the UN to conduct an independent investigation into the murder of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and engage the special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories.
An investigation should also be carried out into the violence committed by Israeli security officers during Shireen’s funeral.
Abu Akleh, 51, was shot in the head while on an assignment to cover an Israeli operation in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin on 11 May. This incident worsened security conditions for journalists in Palestine and set a global precedent. The independent investigation by the UN is expected to ensure the killer is revealed and imposed with the maximum punishment.
The killing of Shireen in the midst of a military operation is a violation of human rights and international law. This has an impact on the public’s right to obtain credible information, especially regarding the Israeli attacks in the West Bank, which resulted in the killing of dozens of Palestinians.
More than 40 Palestinian journalists have reportedly been killed since 2000, with hundreds injured or being the targets of violence.
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The investigation into the murder of Shireen is an attempt to stop impunity for the perpetrators of crimes against journalists. So far, impunity has led to violence targeting journalists in various countries, placing press workers in dangerous situations.
Unesco noted that 55 journalists and media professionals were killed during 2021, with 87% of the murder cases of journalists remaining unsolved since 2006. Every country must ensure the protection of journalists who work to fulfil the public’s right to information and to promote peace and human rights.
Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI)
Center for Independent Journalism (CIJ)
The Movement of Independent Media / Gerakan Media Merdeka (Geramm)
Freedom Film Network
National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP)
Cambodian Journalists Alliance Association (CamboJA)
Association of Journalists of Timor Leste