Almost two months after the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, a delegation of her colleagues and family came to the European Parliament today, 4 July 2022, at the invitation of MEP for Ireland South Grace O’Sullivan to brief MEPs on the latest developments in the case and urge accountability for Israeli soldiers.
The delegation included Lina Abu Akleh, niece and close friend of Shireen, who spoke about her late aunt and called for an independent investigation into her killing. Also present were colleagues of Shireen from the Al Jazeera Center for Public Liberties and Human Rights: Noora Aladna, Sami Elhag, Hassan Saeed Elmogummer Taha and Barbara Trionfi of the International Press Institute. The delegation briefed a number of MEPs from various political backgrounds and countries on the continued impunity of the Israeli Defence Forces who carried out the lethal attack in Jenin in May 2022 and called for a US-backed, EU-supported investigation into the killing.
Speaking from the briefing today Grace O’Sullivan MEP said: “The EU needs to stand up for its values of human dignity, democracy and human rights by supporting an independent investigation into Shireens’s killing. Ireland must also do its bit to secure justice for her family We now know from a number of sources, including CNN, that Israeli soldiers fired the shots that killed Shireen in Jenin yet no one has yet to pay for that crime. The freedom of all press is at stake if we don’t stand up to this.”
“In the meantime, Ursula von der Leyen has flown to Tel Aviv to sign off a multi-million euro gas deal. The hypocrisy is staggering and only serves to encourage Israeli authorities’ confidence in being unaccountable to international law. By sending Israel millions in gas money, we are rewarding the blatant disregard for rule of law in Israel and Palestine,” the MEP added.
Speaking remotely at the event, Lina Abu Akleh, niece of Shireen said: “The killing of Shireen Abu Akleh, my aunt and prominent veteran Al Jazeera journalist is a crime that shocked the entire nation of Palestine, and the world. This crime should not go unpunished and we continue to demand the western nations to stand up to its obligation towards protection of journalists and punish Shireen’s killers.”