United Kingdom: Press conference on a journalist’s complaint to the International Criminal Court
On Friday, May 27, at 10 a.m., the International Federation of Journalists will join the ICJP’s international press conference at Doughty Street Chambers, London, to provide a crucial update on a complaint lodged with the Criminal Court in April 2022 regarding the systematic targeting of Palestinian journalists by Israeli security forces.
Leading lawyers from Bindmans LLP and Doughty Street Chambers have been instructed by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) and the International Center for Justice for the Palestinians (ICJP) to file the suit calling on the ICC prosecutor to launch an investigation into the targeted killing and maiming of journalists and the destruction of media infrastructure in Palestine.
The complaint details the systematic targeting of Palestinian journalists on behalf of four named victims – Ahmed Abu Hussein, Yaser Murtaja, Muath Amarneh and Nedal Eshtayeh – who were killed or maimed by Israeli snipers while covering protests in Gaza. All were wearing clearly marked PRESS vests at the time they were shot. The complaint also details the targeting of media and the bombing of Al-Shorouk and Al-Jawhara towers in Gaza City in May 2021.
On May 11, 2022, just days after the ICC prosecutor acknowledged receipt of the complaint, Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot dead in the occupied West Bank. A longtime correspondent for Al Jazeera Arabic, Shireen was killed while covering Israeli army raids in the city of Jenin. There are strong reasons to believe that Shireen was shot dead by the Israeli armed forces. His case adds to a long list of journalists targeted by the Israeli armed forces in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Exclusively, Al Jazeera’s Jerusalem bureau chief Walid Al-Omari will join keynote speakers from Doughty Street Chambers and Bindmans LLP as well as speakers from the International Federation of Journalists, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate and the ICJP to present the key elements of the complaint. filed in April and to provide an important update on the murder of Shireen Abu Akleh.
Tayab Ali, Director of the ICJP comments: “A free press is the cornerstone of a democracy. The targeting of journalists in conflict zones anywhere in the world is unacceptable and must carry grave consequences for those who try to hide their crimes and violations by killing or maiming journalists. On February 5, 2021, the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber recognized its jurisdiction over the situation in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. We are confident that the ICC will investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of the crimes alleged in our complaint. There could be no more important time than now for the ICC and the international community to send a clear signal to states that pursue their own interests through war crimes, that they will not enjoy the impunity, but will instead be quickly held accountable for their violations.
IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “Once again, journalists wearing press vests and clearly identified as media workers have been targeted by snipers. The systematic targeting of Palestinian journalists cannot go unpunished. Journalists and their families deserve justice and the IFJ is working with the PJS, ICJP, Bindmans and Doughty Street Chambers is determined to ensure that those responsible for crimes against journalists are held accountable”.