Middle East

Killing of Palestinian journalist widely condemned in Africa

Several African journalist organisations and institutions, on Thursday, condemned the killing of a veteran Al-Jazeera journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead while covering an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank, Anadolu News Agency reports.

“The Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) joins the rest of the world in condemning the killing of the Palestinian-American journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh,” the Union said in a statement.

Abu Akleh, 51, was shot in the head while covering an Israeli raid in the city of Jenin on Wednesday. Palestinian authorities and the Doha-based network say she was killed by Israeli forces.

ZUJ said it supports international calls for thorough investigations into the matter, so that perpetrators of such atrocious acts are made to account.

The Media Review Network (MRN), a South African lobby group, also condemned the killing.

READ: B’Tselem: Israel narrative about killing Shireen Abu Akleh ‘untrue’

“(Abu Akleh was) killed in cold blood whilst covering yet another Zionist attack on resistance forces in the Jenin Refugee Camp. This assassination is meant to send a clear intimidatory message to journalists who aim to counter Zionist hasbara,” the MRN said in a statement.

Meanwhile, a group of media outlets across the world, including the Pan-African Television in Ghana and New Frame Publication in South Africa, have signed a petition condemning the killing.

“We stand with the people of Palestine who continue to resist the violent Israeli apartheid regime and brave journalists who put their lives on the line to tell their stories,” the group said.

South Africa’s third-largest party in parliament, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), also condemned the murder, saying the continued occupation of Palestinian territories by Israel has led to untold suffering, torture and war crimes.

READ: Shireen Abu Akleh: A quarter of a century of coverage ended with an Israeli bullet to the head

The governments of Namibia and South Africa also denounced the killing.

“The targeting of journalists in the occupied territories, and in conflict zones like Ukraine and Afghanistan, appears to be part of a pattern of silencing the free press and is an outright contravention of international law,” said Zane Dangor, Director-General of South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO).

It called on governments to respect their commitment to Press and Media freedom by not harming journalists.

“The ability of journalists to cover events as they take place is essential, and efforts to intimidate and assassinate members of the media cannot be allowed to continue with impunity,” DIRCO said in a statement.

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