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WBU statement on the assassination of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

The World Broadcasting Unions (WBU) has issued this statement:

Toronto, ON – May 25, 2022 – The WBU is profoundly shocked, saddened and extremely concerned about the assassination of Al Jazeera TV Correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh. Her colleague Ali Al-Samoudi was shot and wounded and 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. 

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. 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 protection of journalists covering any conflict anywhere is of paramount importance to the WBU and to every global citizen who values a free press. 

Journalists are the storytellers who bring light to events that seriously affect the lives of citizens in their communities and enlighten and inform regional and global communities who are also affected in our connected world. Informing citizens is journalism’s prime mission and journalists must be protected in doing their work, no matter the circumstances. 

The WBU calls for adherence to international law1 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. 

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. 

About WBU

The World Broadcasting Unions (WBU) was established in 1992 as a coordinating body at the international broadcasting level. Since then, the WBU has provided global solutions on key issues for its member unions. The North American Broadcasters Association (NABA) acts as secretariat for the WBU. 

1 UN Declaration of Press Freedom, Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the UN Security Council’s statement 

*** NABA abstains from this statement. (NABA statement)