What is in Al Jazeera file for the ICC on Abu Akleh’s killing?

Shireen Abuaqleh 5

Testimonies within the file present that Israel’s killing of the reporter has led to widespread, crippling fear amongst Palestinian journalists about their security.

The Hague, the Netherlands – A file submitted by Al Jazeera to the International Criminal Court (ICC) with a proper request to analyze the killing of veteran tv correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh exhibits how her demise unfolded and the way it has had a “chilling effect” amongst Palestinian journalists, a lawyer for the worldwide TV community says.

Abu Akleh, a Palestinian American correspondent with Al Jazeera for 25 years, was killed by Israeli forces on May 11 on a street in Jenin within the northern occupied West Bank.

The request acquired by the court docket on Tuesday contains statements from witnesses and their video footage, together with new unseen footage, lawyer Rodney Dixon KC mentioned.

The chronology produced from the proof exhibits “the only firing that was going on” when Abu Akleh and her colleagues have been on the street was “firing at the journalists”, Dixon defined.

Abu Akleh and her colleagues on the time have been carrying protecting helmets and jackets emblazoned with “PRESS”. The proof produced by Al Jazeera counters claims by Israeli authorities that Abu Akleh was killed in a crossfire.

In September, it mentioned there was a “high probability” an Israeli soldier “accidentally hit” the journalist however that it might not launch a felony investigation.

The submission additionally contains instances of different Palestinian journalists who’ve been focused by the Israeli authorities, together with the bombing of Al Jazeera’s Gaza workplace in 2021.

“That’s all to show that this has been going on for some time and that Al Jazeera has been targeted generally,” mentioned Dixon, who investigated the killing of Abu Akleh, compiled the proof and submitted it to the ICC on behalf of Al Jazeera.

Another witness assertion that the file contains is from Al Jazeera journalist Givara Budeiri. In 2021, Israeli police arrested and assaulted Budeiri and destroyed the tools of Al Jazeera cameraman Nabil Mazzawi. They have been masking a sit-in within the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah to mark the 54th anniversary of the Naksa, the occasion in 1967 when Israel seized what remained of the Palestinian homeland.

“She was detained and beaten and tortured on the 5th of June 2021,” Dixon mentioned.

“What we’ve emphasised in this submission is that those who were interrogating her kept saying that this is because you are with Al Jazeera,” he mentioned.

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‘Chilling effect’

Witness testimonies within the file level to fear amongst journalists and the way such assaults are affecting Palestinian journalists’ means to work on the bottom, Dixon mentioned.

Al Jazeera journalists who have been interviewed spotlight how Abu Akleh’s killing has had a “chilling effect” and has created issues about how one can go about their work safely.

The proof exhibits that “Shireen was such a cautious journalist, always going to every measure to protect herself and others,” Dixon mentioned. “And on the day they had taken all those measures. And the witnesses have consistently said that this was a shock – that they were suddenly fired on, directly.”

Previously, he defined, there was an unwritten code below which Israeli forces would inform journalists they weren’t welcome in an space or shoot tear gasoline and even warning photographs.

The truth Abu Akleh’s killing occurred “in a situation where they did not expect it at all has made people realise that they could be next”, Dixon mentioned.

“So it’s completely new ground where they are deeply concerned there are no boundaries,” the lawyer mentioned. “Wherever they go now, they could be fired at because this has happened once, and there have been no consequences.”

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