Lawyers submit complaint to ICC over journalist Shireen’s murder

Lawyers representing the family of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh have submitted a complaint to the Office of the Public Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, calling for an investigation to be opened and for those responsible for her murder to be summoned, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) reported.

The complaint was hand delivered by lawyers from Bindmans LLP and Doughty Street Chambers.

Representatives from the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) as well as the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP) held a joint press conference with the lawyers on Tuesday morning outside the Hague.

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The complaint includes official and media investigations and all recorded data and testimonies regarding the assassination of Shireen, who was martyred on May 11, while covering the Israeli occupation forces’ storming of Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank.

As per media reports, the committee that submitted the file of the Shireen bu Akleh case to the International Criminal stressed, during a press conference, the importance of internationalizing the issue of Palestinian journalists and the violations committed against them by the occupation army, through press unions and human rights associations in the world.

They pointed out that the Shireen Abu Akleh case is the most prominent case, so work is being done in light of it to review other crimes against the Palestinians.

As a result, the committee submitted a 25-page file, to be studied by the court, in addition to studying thousands of documents submitted by human rights committees.

The brother of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh said that the administration of US President Joe Biden had failed to launch an investigation that would lead to the accountability of the perpetrator accused of killing Shireen Abu Akleh.

He added during a press conference in front of the International Criminal Court that the family of the deceased is again calling for an American investigation, and the International Criminal is asking for that, noting that he submitted the complaint with the authorization of all members of Shireen’s family.

He stressed, “The Biden administration has so far failed to launch an investigation that leads to holding the perpetrator accountable, and therefore we continue to demand an American investigation and demand the International Criminal Court to start the investigation in order to hold the killer accountable. Israel cannot escape with its crimes, and it is time for the international community to take a stand and hold those responsible to account.”

He continued, “There must be repercussions when a soldier kills one of them…and not go unpunished because this opens the way for more crimes, and we seek accountability to ensure that this does not happen again.”

Abu Akleh’s brother demanded that the perpetrators of the crime be held responsible, noting that Israel will not investigate a case that it committed by itself.

According to Al Haq’s Forensic Architecture Investigation Unit report on Shireen’s death, which was submitted to the ICC, that Shireen was deliberately targeted by an Israeli sniper and prevented from receiving medical attention. No shots were fired from a Palestinian gunman and no armed Palestinians were in the vicinity at the time of Abu Akleh’s murder by the Israeli sniper.

On May 11, Shireen Abu Akleh was killed by a bullet to the head while covering the Israeli occupation army’s incursion into Jenin, in the northern West Bank.

On May 26, the Palestinian Public Prosecutor, Akram Al-Khatib, announced the results of the Palestinian Public Prosecution’s investigations, which concluded that Shireen Abu Akleh was killed by an Israeli sniper “without prior warning.”

On September 5, the Israeli army announced that there was a “high possibility” that Shireen was killed by “wrong” fire from an Israeli soldier, according to a statement that included the final results of an investigation conducted by the army.

Leading American press organizations, such as CNN and the Associated Press, and newspapers such as the Washington Post and New York Times, had published their own investigations, concluding that Shireen Abu Akleh was killed by Israeli bullets, and Al Jazeera conducted an investigation that reached the same conclusion.

Who is Shireen Abu Akleh?

Shireen Abu Akleh born in 1971 in  occupied Jerusalem, is considered one of the most prominent Palestinian female journalists inside the Palestinian territories.

She studied architecture at the University of Science and Technology in Jordan, before moving to a major in written journalism, and obtained a bachelor’s degree at Yarmouk University in Jordan.

After graduation, she returned to Palestine  and worked in several sites such as UNRWA, Voice of Palestine Radio, Amman Satellite Channel, Miftah Foundation, Monte Carlo Radio, and later moved to work with Al Jazeera  satellite channel, in 1997, until her death by the Israeli occupation army on May 11, 2022.

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