“A year on and no justice for Shireen” ICJP demands action from ICC at UN Human Rights Council in Geneva

Geneva, 25th September 2023- On Thursday, 21st September 2023, ICJP organised and spoke at a parallel event at the 54th session of the UN Human Rights Council at the Palais Des Nations in Geneva. The event, entitled ‘Justice for Shireen Abu Akleh’, addressed the brutal and deliberate targeted killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead by an Israeli marksman in May 2022, while wearing a clearly marked press vest.

The event was organised by the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), to commemorate one year since a joint submission to the International Criminal Court (ICC), demanding an investigation into her killing.

ICJP Senior Counsel Ilora Choudhury spoke to a packed room with nearly 100 people in the audience. Attendees included representatives from the USA, UK, China, Palestine, Qatar, Norway, Malaysia, Australia, Ireland and the European Union to name but a few. 

Reflecting on a year since the submission, Choudhury discussed ICJP’s role in the ICC submission and addressed what must be done to bring forward justice for Shireen Abu Akleh, and to protect the rights of journalists going forward.

The event was chaired by Jim Boumelha, Treasurer of IFJ. He was joined by Ilora Choudhury and Jonathan Purcell from ICJP, as well as Nasser Abu, Vice President of IFJ. The hybrid panel also featured remote speakers, including Tatyana Eatwell, a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers who worked on the ICC case, and Ali Samoudi, a fellow journalist who was shot at the same time as Shireen Abu Akleh. 

A video of a joint investigation by Al Haq and Forensic Architecture was also shown, which detailed how Shireen was deliberately targeted by an Israeli marksman, through a vivid and comprehensive reconstruction of the event. 

Ilora Choudhury, Senior Legal Counsel said: 

“Journalists working on the frontline in situations of armed conflict must be protected and permitted do their jobs. That is a fundamental principle, and it is crucial to allow journalists to hold governments accountable and speak truth to power. By carrying out their dangerous work, journalists like Shireen protect others, and it is only right that they are protected as well.

Since Shireen was killed in May 2022, Israeli occupation forces have injured at least 103 journalists while they were working in the OPT. That’s one journalist hospitalised for a serious injury roughly every five days. The similarity between cases, the consistency and the sheer volume all point to one thing: a formal or informal policy of intentional targeting of journalists.”


Notes to Editors

  1. The International Centre of Justice for Palestinians is an independent organisation of lawyers, politicians and academics who support the rights of Palestinians and aim to protect their rights through the law. 
  2. For more information, footage from the event or media inquiries, please contact: Jonathan Purcell, Public Affairs and Communications Officer, at [email protected].