Statement by Sima Bahous, UN Women Executive Director, on the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh

I am deeply concerned and saddened by the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh. Ms. Abu Akleh was a prominent Palestinian-American journalist working for Al Jazeera. She had a long and impressive career covering the front lines of conflict.

She was shot while on duty covering an operation by Israeli Security Forces in Jenin city in the occupied West Bank, despite wearing protective gear clearly marked with the word “Press”. Under international law, relevant authorities are obliged to ensure the protection of journalists and media workers as well as to ensure the protection of all civilians. Her death is a stark reminder of the multiple forms of violence experienced by women and girls living in conflict settings, in Palestine and in other parts of the world. These acts of violence are human rights violations and unacceptable under any circumstances.

UN Women echoes the Secretary-General's call on the relevant authorities for a transparent and independent investigation into the killing of Ms. Abu Akleh. Those responsible must be held accountable.  UN Women will continue its work in support of female journalists and women human rights defenders, amplifying their voices, and working to end impunity for violence against them.

UN Women wishes a speedy recovery to Mr. Ali Samoudi, a fellow journalist wounded in the same incident.

We send our condolences to the family of Ms. Abu Akleh and we honour her memory.