A group of senior Indian journalists have written to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett condemning the 'murder' of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli forces. Akleh, an American-Palestinian, was shot dead in the occupied West Bank while reporting on a raid by Israeli forces, according to Al Jazeera.
The letter mentioned that Akleh, a long-time TV correspondent for Al Jazeera Arabic, was wearing a press vest and was standing with other journalists when she was killed. It said that the journalist’s death underlined the Israeli government's inability to accept independent journalism.It also condemned the Israeli police attacking the pallbearers of the casket at Akleh’s funeral procession and said it come from an environment of impunity where Israeli military targets Palestinians at will.
Urging the PM to strongly condemn both incidents, the Indian journalists demanded an independent investigation to ensure that Akleh gets justice and such targeted attacks and killings are stopped. Read the full letter here:
Mr. Naftali Bennett, Prime Minister of Israel, Tel Aviv,
Mr. Naor Gilon,
Ambassador of Israel to India, New Delhi,
Dear Mr Prime Minister,
We, Indian journalists, are writing to you to express our strong condemnation of the 'murder' of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh who was shot in the face while she was reporting a raid by Israeli soldiers from Jenin. The shocking assassination -- described as such by Al Jazeera -- again underlines your government's inability to accept independent journalism that speaks the truth.
Akleh was known for her independent reporting. She was killed by an Israeli sniper, according to Al Jazeera, even though she was wearing a helmet and body armour marked "Press". Shireen Akleh was standing with other journalists when she was shot in the face. An Al Jazeera producer was shot in the back but survived.
We are also amazed that despite the worldwide condemnation, Israeli police were again directed to stop her funeral procession. And resorted to violence when the Palestinians tried to move forward, with videos recording the brutal attack on the pallbearers that made them nearly drop the casket. The videos also record the police beating and kicking the mourners. We understand that some kind of enquiry has been ordered, as well as an investigation as to whether the well known journalist was shot from an Israeli army jeep.
This attack comes from a deliberately created environment of impunity, where the Palestinians are targetted by Israeli military at will, and the journalists pay the price for independent reportage. We expect strong condemnation from you Sir, as well as a transparent investigation by an independent authority to ensure that she gets justice in death, and that more such targeted attacks and killings are stopped.
Signatories (all are senior journalists from different parts of India):
Abid Shah A.Amaraiah
Amit Prakash Singh
Amitabh Srivastava Amitabha Roychowdhury Amita Verma
Antara Dev Sen
Bharat Sharma Chandrakant Deepak Parvatiyar
Dhanya Rajendran G.Anjaneyulu
K.S.Dakshina Murthy Kumkum Chadha
Madhavan Narayanan Mandira Nayyar
Masoom Moradabadi Meghnad Bose
Nirmala Ganapathy Nivedita Jha
Pamela Philipose Pankaj Srivastava
Paranjoy Guha Thakurta
Parsa Venkateshwar Rao
Jr. Patricia Mukhim
Poornima Joshi Prakash Dube
Rajashri Dasgupta Rajalakshmi
Rita Manchanda Rukmani Anandani Sandhya Ravishankar Satish Mishra
Shaikh Azizur Rahman Sharda Ugra
Shastri Ramachandaran Shobhna Jain
Shiv Inder Singh
Sukumar Muralidharan Sunita Aron
Uma Kant Lakhera
V.Sreenivasa Rao Vaishna Roy
Venkat Parsa Venkatesh Kesari
Vidya Subrahmaniam Vijay Lokapally
Vivian Fernandes Wadood Sajid