AFRP’s response to the murder of Shireen Abu Akleh

A Statement from the American Federation of Ramallah, Palestine

Justice delayed is justice denied.

Westland, MICHIGAN (May 11, 2022) – On behalf of the American Federation of Ramallah, Palestine (AFRP) and the 44,000 members of the Ramallah community, we express our outrage at the assassination of Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on May 11th, 2022.

Shireen died on Wednesday morning after being shot in the head by an Israeli sniper. She was wearing a press vest and was covering Israeli army raids in the city of Jenin at the time of her death. Her colleague, Ali Al Samudi was shot in the back but survived the attack. Samudi has been shot seven times before while working as a news producer. Ali Al Samudi, other journalists present, and witnesses state that the group of journalists was directly targeted despite having press vests and helmets.

We demand that the United States government and Congress lead an investigation and processing of the those responsible for the assassination of Palestinian American citizen Shireen Abu Akleh. We echo the U.N Human rights office’s plea for an “independent, transparent investigation into her killing. Impunity must end.” Condemnation and outrage it’s futile without justice for Shireen and others killed by Israeli forces.

For more than 25 years, Mrs. Abu Akleh had been reporting with Al Jazeera Arabic on the crimes of the occupation of Palestine and the gross human rights violations being committed against Palestinians. She was well respected and loved by all of Palestine!

Shireen’s death is not an isolated event. Israel has targeted journalists trying to cover the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and silence those who report on their crimes. In 2018, two Palestinian journalists were shot and killed by Israeli forces in Gaza. In May 2021, Israel attacked and destroyed a press building in Gaza housing the Associated Press, Al Jazeera, and other media outlets. In addition, Palestinian reporters are systematically wounded by rubber-coated bullets or tear gas while covering demonstrations in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The AFRP extends its condolences to the family of Mrs. Abu Aklah, her colleagues, and the Palestinian people who mourn her loss. Furthermore, the Federation and its members will act to secure justice for Mrs. Abu Aklah, Thaer Mislet-Yazouri also killed on Wednesday, and all other Palestinians who have lost their lives under the brutal Israeli apartheid regime.

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