Journalist Shatha Hanaysha (right) beside the body of reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, moments after Abu Akleh was shot and killed in the West Bank city of Jenin on May 11, 2022. (Screenshot: Al-Jazeera/YouTube)

‘I want to be a journalist like Shireen’

The Torch is a weekly newsletter from the Committee to Protect Journalists that brings you the latest press freedom and journalist safety news from around the world. Subscribe here.

“I wanted to reach her, but I just couldn’t,” Shatha Hanaysha — the 29-year-old Palestinian correspondent who was seen in the video of the aftermath of the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh last week — told CPJ, recalling the danger of extending her hand to touch her colleague’s body. “When I was asked, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ I often answered, “I want to be a journalist like Shireen.” Read CPJ’s full Q&A with Hanaysha here

CPJ continues to call for an independent international investigation into Abu Akleh’s killing and calls on the Biden administration, ahead of the U.S. president’s planned trip to Israel this summer, to put Abu Akleh at the very top of the U.S. agenda with the Israeli government.

Reporting from Warsaw, Poland, CPJ’s Katherine Jacobsen writes about the “special responsibility” Polish journalists feel toward their Ukrainian counterparts. She met with Joanna Krawczyk, head of Wyborcza Foundation, a Polish media support initiative, as Krawczyk was fielding messages from colleagues coordinating the passage of a truckload of reporting equipment from Poland to Ukraine. 

“It’s like a rotating menu in a restaurant,” Krawczyk told Jacobsen of the group’s donations to match the quickly evolving needs of Ukrainian journalists. Since Russia’s invasion on February 24, the foundation has been part of efforts to send bullet-proof vests, first aid kits, technical gear, and more to Ukrainian journalists so they can continue to tell the story of the war. Read the full story here.

In other Russia-Ukraine war press freedom news:

  • Some Ukrainian journalists are leaving the media for the military in the name of patriotism — Ann Cooper, professor emerita at Columbia Journalism School and former executive director of CPJ
  • Journalist Iryna Danilovich charged, detained by Russian authorities in Crimea
  • Proposed Russian legislation threatens to shut down all independent media
  • CPJ and Medtrade to distribute CELOX lifesaving medical supplies in Ukraine
  • Belarusian journalist detained for two months, charged over reporting

Check out CPJ’s Russia-Ukraine Watch, updated weekly on Thursdays here, and sign up to receive a daily digest of our coverage of the war and press freedom here.

Global press freedom updates 

  • Mexican journalists Yessenia Mollinedo and Johana García shot dead in Veracruz
  • Iran detains female photojournalist, four female documentary filmmakers
  • Ethiopia expels Economist correspondent Tom Gardner
  • Mekong News Agency journalist Maung Maung Myo jailed on terrorism charges in Myanmar
  • Two Congolese journalists detained for five months after covering a protest
  • TV5 Monde correspondent expelled from public meeting in Burkina Faso
  • Guatemalan official files criminal suit against three journalists under violence against women law
  • Journalists stabbed, assaulted in Bangladesh
  • Hezbollah supporters beat Lebanese video journalist covering elections
  • Albanian journalists reporting on prosecutor’s vetting intimidated, personal data breached
  • Two Estonian journalists fined over article on money laundering
  • CPJ condemns Cuba’s new penal code as a threat to independent media
  • CPJ joins call expressing concern over EU draft legislation that threatens encryption
  • CPJ joins call for Cambodia government to revoke plans to establish an internet gateway


Syrian journalist Nabil Al-Sharbaji died in 2015 after being tortured in a military prison run by the Syrian government. (A Safer World for the Truth)

The People’s Tribunal on the Murder of Journalists — a part of A Safer World for the Truth, organized by CPJ, Free Press Unlimited, and Reporters without Borders — convened in The Hague in the Netherlands this week for the Syria Case Hearing in partnership with the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression. The case is journalist Nabil Al-Sharbaji, who died in 2015 after being tortured in a military prison run by the Syrian government. 

The Government of Syria has been officially notified about the prosecution’s indictment by the independent Permanent People’s Tribunal and was invited to exercise its right of defense during the hearing. For questions about the Tribunal, please visit this FAQ page.

We need your input! CPJ and the Global Reporting Center at the University of British Columbia are collaborating on a survey on disinformation and harassment targeting journalists. The survey will take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete, and all your responses will be anonymous by default. Take the survey here.

What we are reading (and watching)

Explore our database of attacks on the press.

Do you have an Amazon Alexa-enabled device? Enable CPJ's flash briefing skill to stay up to date with the latest press freedom news from around the world.