Al Jazeera takes killing of its reporter Shireen Abu Akleh to ICC

Shireen Abu, a Palestinian journalist was killed in an alleged crossfire that Al Jazeera and many others deny and say it was a targeted killing on May 11, 2022

Shailesh Khanduri
06 Dec 2022
Al Jazeera takes killing of its reporter Shireen Abu Akleh to ICC

Shireen Abu Akleh (File photo)

New Delhi: Al Jazeera Media Network has reported that it has submitted a formal request to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate and prosecute those responsible for killing Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

Abu Akleh, a television correspondent with Al Jazeera was allegedly killed by Israeli forces on May 11 as she was covering an Israeli military raid on a refugee camp in the northern West Bank area.

The 51-year-old Jerusalem native and US citizen was a household name and a widely respected journalist who gave a voice to Palestinians through her coverage of the Israeli occupation.

Al Jazeera said that “The request includes a dossier on a comprehensive six-month investigation by Al Jazeera that gathers all available eyewitness evidence and video footage, as well as new material on the killing of Abu Akleh.”

The request submitted to the ICC is presented “in the context of a wider attack on Al Jazeera, and journalists in Palestine”, said Rodney Dixon KC, a lawyer for Al Jazeera, referring to incidents such as the bombing of the network’s Gaza office on May 15, 2021.

“It’s not a single incident, it’s a killing that is part of a wider pattern that the prosecution should be investigating to identify those who are responsible for the killing, and to bring charges against them,” he said.

“The focus is on Shireen, and this particular killing, this outrageous killing. But the evidence we submit looks at all of the acts against Al Jazeera because it has been targeted as an international media organisation.

(Rodney Dixon, envelope in hand, and Lina Abu Akleh, niece of fatally shot Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, walk into the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, on Tuesday)

Al Jazeera hopes the ICC prosecutor “does actually start the investigation of this case” after the network’s request, Dixon said. The request complements the complaint submitted to the ICC by Abu Akleh’s family in September, supported by the Palestinian Press Syndicate and the International Federation of Journalists.

A new documentary by Al Jazeera’s Fault Lines shows how Abu Akleh and other journalists, wearing protective helmets and bulletproof vests clearly marked with the word “PRESS”, were walking down a road in view of Israeli forces when they came under fire.

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