An image of slain Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is placed on a chair at a news conference with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and U.S. President Joe Biden, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, on July 15, 2022. (Reuters/Evelyn Hockstein)

CPJ calls on US officials to act after Blinken meeting with Shireen Abu Akleh’s family

New York, July 26, 2022 – U.S. authorities must follow their meeting with family members of slain Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh with substantive action to investigate her death and bring those responsible to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Tuesday.

On Tuesday, July 26, Abu Akleh’s relatives met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington, D.C., and demanded an independent probe into her killing, according to news reports and tweets by Lina Abu Akleh, the journalist’s niece, who wrote after the meeting that Abu Akleh’s family was “still waiting to see” if the Biden administration would answer their calls for justice.

“While CPJ welcomes Secretary Blinken’s meeting with Shireen Abu Akleh’s family, the Biden administration has shirked its obligations to her family and to press freedom for too long,” said CPJ Director of Advocacy Gypsy Guillén Kaiser. “Actions must follow words, and the administration must keep its promise to thoroughly and transparently investigate her killing.”

Multiple eyewitnesses and investigations concluded that an Israel Defense Forces soldier shot and killed Abu Akleh, an Al-Jazeera correspondent and dual Palestinian American national, on May 11 while she was reporting on an IDF raid in the Palestinian West Bank city of Jenin. A U.S. State Department investigation concluded that an Israeli soldier “likely” killed Abu Akleh but that there was “no reason to believe” the soldier intentionally targeted her.

Abu Akleh’s family rejected the investigation’s finding in a statement at the time and called on the FBI to lead an investigation into her death.