NUJ condemns killing of Al Jazeera journalist

  • 11 May 2022

NUJ sends condolences to family and friends of respected journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

The NUJ is shocked by  the killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli forces whilst reporting on raids in Jenin. The union has condemned the act of violence and called on authorities to act swiftly, holding those responsible to account.  

A respected journalist at Al Jazeera for over two decades, reports indicate Abu Akleh was hit by a bullet whilst wearing a press vest. Another journalist working with her at the time stated gunfire was opened without instruction to stop filming. Journalist Shatha Hanaysha also present at the time of attack stated the group had been deliberately targeted by the Israeli army.  It is alleged the army is investigating the event. 

Attacks against Palestinian journalists in Israel have been condemned by the NUJ and International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and action must be taken by Israeli authorities to ensure the safety and protection of journalists in the country.  

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary said:
 
"This is an appalling act  of violence. We extend our sympathy to the family and friends of  Shireen Abu Akleh, who was clearly a brave and committed journalist. We also extend condolences to her colleagues in Al Jazeera, who are devastated by her death. 
 
"The incident is extremely worrying and there must be a full investigation into the circumstances. The apparent targeting of a journalist is a matter of grave concern and it cannot be left to military authorities to investigate the behaviour of their own forces.
 
“This shocking incident must be seen in the context of Israel’s systematic targeting of journalists working in Palestine and its failure to properly investigate killings of media workers.
 
"The IFJ, the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate (PJS) and the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP) submitted the formal complaint to the International Criminal Court last month. Sadly a new name must now be added to that file."
Anthony Bellanger, IFJ general secretary, said:

"While the full details of this horrific murder are still emerging, testimony from journalists who were with her when she was killed point towards this being another deliberate and systematic targeting of a journalist. Yet again journalists, wearing press vests, clearly identified were targeted by Israeli snipers. They were not alongside demonstrators, they were not a threat - they have been targeted to prevent them bearing witness and telling the truth about the Israeli action in Jenin.

"We will seek to add this case to the ICC complaint submitted by the IFJ, detailing such systematic targeting. If we demand justice for the Russian targeting of Ukrainian journalists we must demand an end to, and justice for, Israeli targeting and killings of Palestinian journalists".

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