BRUSSELS, Thursday, May 19, 2022 (WAFA) – More than a hundred artists, including Hollywood stars, acclaimed authors and prominent musicians, today condemned Israel’s killing of esteemed Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.
Actors Susan Sarandon, Tilda Swinton, Mark Ruffalo, Kathryn Hahn and Steve Coogan are among the signatories to an open letter calling for “full accountability for the perpetrators of this crime and everyone involved in authorizing it”.
Abu Akleh, well-known across the Arab world for her reporting on Israel’s occupation and apartheid system, was shot dead last week while wearing a press vest. Israeli human rights group B’Tselem has refuted attempts by Israeli leaders to deflect responsibility.
In a joint statement, film directors Pedro Almodovar, Carol Morley, Boots Riley, Asif Kapadia and Michael Winterbottom join musicians Tom Morello, Massive Attack, Ben UFO and Seun Kuti in supporting calls from Palestinian human rights groups for “proportional, targeted measures to hold Israel to account for its crimes, and to end its impunity”.
Susan Sarandon added, “I am saddened and angered by the murder of Shireen Abu Akleh and by the appalling attack on her funeral. I now know more than ever that without serious accountability and serious measures by our governments, apartheid and occupation will not end soon”.
The artists and public figures criticised a “pattern of violence, harassment, and intimidation against Palestinian journalists who are shining a light on what Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Israel’s leading human rights organization, B’Tselem, have described as a system of apartheid imposed on the Palestinian people”.
Citing the response to Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine, authors Colm Tóibín, Kamila Shamsie, Arundhati Roy, Philip Pullman and Monica Ali called on Western governments to “end their hypocrisy and to act with consistency in the application of international law and human rights”.
The signatories, who include actor and former footballer Eric Cantona, author Naomi Klein, DJ Marea Stamper (The Blessed Madonna) and author and economist Yanis Varoufakis, concluded: “There must be no double standards when it comes to the basic human right to freedom from persecution and oppression and the right to life and to dignity”.