Lawyers request access to firearm and bullet that killed Shireen Abu Akleh

  • 07 Jul 2022

A team from Doughty Street Chambers and Bindmans LLP submitting a complaint to the International Criminal Court, have sought urgent access to evidence.

Following the killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in May, lawyers instructed by her family and Ali Al-Samoudi injured in a shooting at the time of Abu Akleh’s death, have been compiling information as part of their submission to the ICC.

Requests to the Israeli Army and Palestinian authority have been made for access to both the firearm and bullet, to allow an examination by a forensic ballistics expert to take place.

Tayab Ali is a Partner at Bindmans and acting in the case for the new complaint submission.

He said:

"The forensic analysis of the firearm forms a small but important part of the evidence in this case. It is crucial that we, as the lawyers representing the victims in this case, are able to independently assess the evidence and are not prevented or hampered in our investigations.

"The evidence that we have seen so far provides a strong case that Israel has a policy of targeting journalists in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Evidence is mounting that the killing of Shireen and shooting of Ali was part of that purposeful policy."

The NUJ has condemned the systematic targeting of journalists in Palestine, including those identifiable by clearly marked press vests. A submission to the ICC in April this year, alleged actions by Israeli forces amounted to war crimes against journalists.

The Israeli army has so far denied the killing of Shireen as a deliberate act. An opportunity to interview soldiers present during the shooting has also been requested by Doughty Street and Bindmans.

The new complaint will be submitted by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Palestinian Journalists Syndicate and International Centre of Justice for Palestinians.

Anthony Bellanger, IFJ general secretary, said:

“Truth needs to be established about Shireen Abu Akleh's murder. We support the call for an independent investigation with access to the firearm and bullet that killed Shireen. The IFJ is determined to shed light on the true circumstances of her killing and hold the Israeli accountable for their crimes against Palestinian journalists.”

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