“If the International Criminal Court does not investigate the death of Shireen Abu Akleh soon, it will lose all credibility among journalists and the Palestine people,” said IFJ vice-president Nasser Abu Baker. He was speaking to a packed meeting on 21 September at the United Nations Human Rights Council, organised by the IFJ on the anniversary of lodging a complaint with the Hague-based court.
Nearly 100 national representatives, including those from China, the USA, the UK, and the EU, heard contributions from lawyers and campaigners involved in the case.
Ilora Choudury, senior lead counsel for the International Center of Justice for Palestinians told the meeting about the troubling forensic evidence that has emerged since the killing. “The similarity between cases, the consistency, and the sheer volume all point to one thing – a formal, or informal policy to intentionally targeting journalists.”
Choudhury went on to say that had legal action been swifter, much suffering among journalists in Palestine might have been avoided – 102 have suffered serious injury as a result of the actions of the Israeli Defence Force.
IFJ treasurer, Jim Boumelha, who chaired the meeting said: “Journalists everywhere have been appalled by this killing and are looking to the ICC to take action. The IFJ will keep up the pressure until it does”.
A fuller report follows.