The family of slain Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh submitted on Tuesday an official complaint to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the killing of the veteran television correspondent.
Head of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) Nasser Abu Bakr, member of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Jimmy Boumleiha, and Abu Akleh’s brother, Anton, submitted the complaint to the office of the ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan.
Abu Akleh was shot and killed while covering an Israeli military raid in the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank on May 11.
Palestinian eyewitnesses, including her crew, say Israeli troops killed her and that there were no militants in the immediate vicinity or any exchange of fire at the time she was shot.
Israel denies its forces deliberately targeted her, but says an Israeli soldier may have hit her by mistake during an exchange of fire with a militant.
On the filing of the complaint, Abu Bakr said it is a great day that marks a historic event, stating that the PJS, in cooperation with the IFJ, is the first syndicate in the world to submit a complaint to the ICC and its chief prosecutor.
“Time has come to hold killers of journalists accountable under the international law and United Nations resolutions,” he added.
He further noted that since 2000, 48 journalists have been killed by the Israeli forces, stressing that these attacks amount to war crimes that include targeting and destroying dozens of media offices in the Gaza Strip.
The International Center of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP) held a press conference on Monday to announce the submission of the new complaint.
The conference brought together lawyers from Bindmans LLP and Doughty Street Chambers, along with representatives from the IFJ, the PJS, and the ICJP, who were asked by the victim’s family to submit the complaint.
They called on the Office of the Prosecutor to meet with the victims and investigate the crimes alleged in their complaints.
The complaint included many documents, forensic evidence and eyewitness testimony, in addition to the report by the Palestinian Public Prosecution, the analysis of the killing projectile and a summary of other probes.