BEIRUT – The Alternative Press Syndicate in Lebanon held a protest outside the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) headquarters in Downtown Beirut on Tuesday in response to the killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli forces.
Here’s what we know:
• The demonstration was held in an effort to deliver a message to the United Nations and demand an “investigation and international condemnation.”
• Al Jazeera reported that Abu Akleh, 51, a Palestinian journalist and a longtime TV correspondent for Al Jazeera Arabic, was shot in the head on Wednesday morning, while wearing a press vest and a helmet, by Israeli forces when she was covering Israeli army raids in the city of Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank. According to Al Jazeera, Abu Akleh was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, where she was pronounced dead.
• Hussein Mehdy, vice president of the Alternative Syndicate of the Press, told L'Orient Today that the protest was organized because, “after what happened this morning, we thought we can’t be frozen by this, so my colleagues in the profession and others who believe in freedom of press and expression and believers in the cause of Shireen, which is the Palestinian cause, decided to hold a demonstration, not just to stand in solidarity, but to stand in anger to what was done.” He added, “this was the least we could do.”
• Speaking to L'Orient Today, Kareem Chehayeb, Al Jazeera English’s Beirut correspondent, said that it was a “very moving tribute for an incredible, trailblazing, and groundbreaking journalist, who was an inspiration to so many people.” He described the mood as being filled with “feelings of grief and sadness,” but also full of “solidarity, as all these journalists came together to pay respects to this incredible journalist and reporter.” The protest started at 6:30 p.m. and ended an hour and a half later.
• A household name across the Arab world for her bold coverage and understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Abu Akleh’s death stirred outrage and grief across social media platforms. Chehayeb said the shock of her death showed how “inspiring Abu Akleh was to everybody, not just in Palestine, or in the Middle East. She was a journalist who broke so many barriers.”
• Speaking about violence against media workers, Jad Shahrour, the communications officer at the Samir Kassir Foundation told L’Orient Today that “the assassination of our colleague [Shireen] by the occupation army in Palestine reminds us of the international community’s silence towards the assassination of more than 1,200 journalists worldwide from 2006 until today, without any strict accountability and an actual investigation that reveals the identity of the perpetrators.”
• Following the killing, President Michel Aoun sent a cable of condolences to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
BEIRUT – The Alternative Press Syndicate in Lebanon held a protest outside the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) headquarters in Downtown Beirut on Tuesday in response to the killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli forces.Here’s what we know: • The demonstration was held in an effort to deliver a message to the United Nations and demand...