RAMALLAH, Thursday, May 12, 2022 (WAFA) - 229 Arab and International Human Rights Organizations and Networks strongly condemned the assassination of the journalist, Al-Jazeera correspondent, Shireen Abu Akleh, after she was targeted by the forces of the occupation and 'apartheid state' with a bullet in the head.
Journalist Ali Al-Samoudi was also shot in the back while covering the storming of the Jenin refugee camp Wednesday morning, 11 5/2022, thus increasing the number of Palestinian journalists and media professionals who were killed by the occupation bullets to 83 journalists since the beginning of 1972.
The signatories affirmed that the crime of the occupation that targeted the journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is a deliberate and premeditated act and a full-fledged assassination operation.
“The martyr Shireen Abu Akleh is a direct victim of organized state terrorism, which behaves with the mentality of criminal gangs,” the signatories stressed.
This crime came as a result of the systematic incitement against Palestinian journalists by the occupying state against them for their professional role in revealing the truth and exposing its crimes. This is in addition to the international society's silence on the crimes of the occupation committed against the Palestinian people because of their double standards.
The signatories stressed that the Israeli occupation forces, by their heinous act, want to obscure the truth and cover up their heinous crimes against the Palestinian people. In addition, the occupation, by its heinous act, wants to scare and intimidate journalists to prevent the transmission of the truth to the world.
The signatories called for the opening of a neutral, independent, and transparent international investigation under the supervision of the International Criminal Court to find out the crime of targeting journalist Abu Akleh by the occupation forces.
They further stressed the need to launch an international campaign by the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, the International Federation of Journalists, international nongovernmental organizations, and Palestinian human rights institutions to hold Israeli war criminals accountable, prevent impunity for perpetrators, and bring a legal human rights case regarding this crime before the International Criminal Court, to prosecute Israeli leaders and politicians who publicly incite the killing of Palestinian civilians, including journalists.
They are calling on the United Nations and the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to provide the necessary protection for journalists and media crews working in the occupied territories.
Likewise, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights considers targeting journalists while covering armed conflicts and wars a war crime, similar to targeting ambulance crews.
The signatories recalled that journalists and media workers enjoy special protection under the provisions of international humanitarian law, just like civilians in times of armed conflict, especially Articles (51 and 79) of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, where Article (51) paragraph (2) provides for the protection of the civilian population (the civilian population as such and the civilian population shall not be the object of attack).
Article (79) of the same states that “Journalists who undertake dangerous professional missions in areas of armed conflict are civilians... and they must be protected in this capacity in accordance with the provisions of the conventions.” The crime committed by the occupation forces against journalist Abu Akleh is a flagrant violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2222 on the protection of journalists, which the Council issued in May 2015.