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WBU Condemns Killing of Al Jazeera Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

Al Jazeera
Shireen Abu Akleh (Image credit: Al Jazeera)

 TORONTO—The World Broadcasting Unions (WBU) has issued a statement saying it is “profoundly shocked, saddened and extremely concerned about the assassination of Al Jazeera TV Correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh” on May 11 and the gun fire that wounded her colleague Ali Al-Samoudi who “is now in stable condition in hospital.”

“Abu Akleh and Al-Samoudi were clearly identified as PRESS and were standing with other journalists covering Israeli army raids in Jenin, in the northern West Bank, when shooting broke out,” the group said. “This aggression is an egregious breach of UN Declaration of Press Freedom, Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Geneva Conventions and UN Security Council Resolution 2222 on the protection of journalists.”

“WBU condemns strongly this aggression and emphasizes the need to ensure accountability,” the statement continued. “Therefore, WBU calls for a thorough, transparent, fair and impartial investigation into the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh and demands that Israel reverses its decision not to investigate the circumstances of her death.”

The death of Abu Akleh brought widespread statements of outrage from government officials around the world and comes at a time when violence against journalists has reached alarming levels. 

The Committee to Protect Journalists has identified 18 cases (opens in new tab) where journalists have been killed in 2022, including 7 in Ukraine. 

In a separate analysis Reporters Without Borders had identified 26 journalists (opens in new tab) and two media workers killed so far in 2022.  

The WBU also stressed that “the protection of journalists covering any conflict anywhere is of paramount importance to the WBU and to every global citizen who values a free press….The WBU calls for adherence to international law and guaranteeing the rights of journalists to do their work without fear, especially in conflict and war zones. No journalist should be targeted for doing their job.”

The group also expressed “our deepest condolences to Shireen Abu Akleh’s family, friends, and colleagues around the world to whom she never failed to take the time to share her warmth and passion for their lives and interests.”

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.