Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Family of slain Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh submits complaint to ICC

The family has vowed to do whatever was necessary to secure accountability for her death.

• September 20, 2022
Shireen Abu Aqla
Shireen Abu Akleh

The family of slain Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh has submitted an official complaint to the International Criminal Court (ICC) demanding justice for her death.

The complaint is supported by the Palestinian Press Syndicate and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).

On Tuesday, Ms Abu Akleh’s brother Anton spoke before the ICC in The Hague, saying they would do whatever was necessary to secure accountability for her death.

“Like we said before, and like other reports said previously, there were more than 16 shots fired towards Shireen and the media and her colleagues who were standing in that alley,” Mr Abu Akleh said, adding, “They even targeted the person who was trying to pull her into safety after she was shot down.”

Ms Abu Akleh had worked as a reporter for Al-Jazeera for 25 years. She was shot in the head and killed by Israeli forces on May 11 while covering a military raid in the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

Ms Abu Akleh had been wearing a flak jacket and helmet, which identified her as press.

Al-Jazeera’s cameraman Ali Al-Samoudi, standing near her along with a group of Palestinian journalists, was also shot in the back but has recovered.

Following her death, Al-Jazeera issued a statement saying it had formed an international coalition that consisted of its legal team along with international experts and was preparing a dossier on the killing of Ms Abu Akleh for submission to the ICC prosecutor.

Al Jazeera called her killing a “blatant murder” that violated “international laws and norms”.

“The Network vows to follow every path to achieve justice for Shireen, and ensure those responsible for her killing are brought to justice and held accountable in all international justice and legal platforms and courts,” Al-Jazeera said.

The Palestinian Authority also asked the ICC to investigate Ms Abu Akleh’s death. 

“We have documented [the crime] and submitted a file about it to the ICC prosecutor alongside other Israeli violations,” Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki said in May.

However, Mr Al-Maliki asked the court to include Ms Abu Akleh’s death in other crimes committed by Israel against Palestinians to facilitate an official investigation.

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