Washington, D.C., July 18, 2023 —It has been more than a year since Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was fatally shot while reporting on an Israeli military raid of a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. The prevailing consensus is that an Israeli soldier was responsible for her death. Yet there has been no justice for Shireen.
This week, a coalition of more than 60 national organizations sent a letter to members of Congress urging them to support the Justice for Shireen Act (H.R. 3477). The bill, introduced by Rep. Andre Carson (IN-07), would require the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the State Department to publicly report on the circumstances surrounding Shireen Abu Akleh’s death.
The letter was led by the Friends Committee on National Legislation, Americans for Justice in Palestine Action, Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), and Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN). Over 60 groups signed it, including U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Human Rights, Amnesty International USA, Reporters Without Borders, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), If Not Now, Defense of Children International – Palestine (DCIP), Oxfam America, Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED), Arab American Institute, Human Rights Watch, Win Without War, and Center for Civilians In Conflict (CIVIC).
This letter appeals to lawmakers to pass the Justice for Shireen Act and urges Congress and the Biden administration to take immediate steps to ensure U.S. assistance to Israel does not contribute to human rights violations against Palestinians or attacks on members of the press.
Note to Editors: Attacks on journalists in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory represent a deadly pattern. On the first anniversary of Abu Akleh’s killing, the Committee to Protect Journalists published a report documenting at least 20 journalist killings by the Israel Defense Forces since 2001. The vast majority—18—were Palestinian. No one has ever been charged or held accountable for these deaths.
The Committee to Protect Journalists is an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide.