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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Malaysia joins call to demand justice for slain Al Jazeera journo

Colleagues and supporters of Shireen Abu Akleh - a Palestinian-American reporter with Al Jazeera who was murdered during an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank - have gathered to demand justice and condemn the regime.

The gathering organised by Al Jazeera's Kuala Lumpur bureau at its office today was held to mark 100 days since Shireen's death, reportedly from gunfire by the Israeli army in the city of Jenin, in Ramallah, Palestine.

Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah, represented by his press secretary Tan Sian Hoo, shared a message of solidarity for Shireen and a call for justice.

“The foreign minister stands with the family of Shireen and her brothers and sisters in Palestine.

“He also stands with all journalists from around the world who carried out their duties without fear or favour, speaking the truth to power. We demand justice for Shireen,” said Tan.

“One other point I would like to stress from the foreign minister is that Malaysia will never normalise ties with Israel until a two-state solution appears and until the state of Palestine is finally realised,” he said.

Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah’s press secretary Tan Sian Hoo

Shireen's journalist career spanned several decades, for 25 years, until her death on May 11 as she was reporting from Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories for Al Jazeera's Arabic language channel.

Palestinian student Dina Salleh said lessons learnt from Shireen's life and death include that those left behind should continue the fight against their oppressors.

“I'm 25 years old and Shireen has been working in journalism for 25 years as well, since the year I was born.

“That means a lot to me because she has been telling the real Palestinian stories… After 100 days we still do not have justice for her,” she said.

'Justice for every journalist'

Former Batu MP Tian Chua noted that journalists often pay a high price for their obligation to report the truth - being denied freedoms or ultimately facing death.

“Whoever killed Shireen with the intention to cover the truth, that it (her death) will make the atrocities by the zionist regime go away, they are mistaken.

Former Batu MP Tian Chua

“They are mistaken because thousands more reporters, thousands more eyewitnesses will continue to narrate the oppression, the abuses, and all the violations done by the zionist regime,” he said.

Meanwhile, Al Jazeera Kuala Lumpur bureau chief Samer Allawi who hosted the gathering today described Shireen as not only a former colleague but a person who was struggling for freedom of speech in Palestine.

Al Jazeera will continue to pursue the attack because justice should be done for Shireen.

“Justice for her is justice for every journalist,” stressed Samer.

Al Jazeera Kuala Lumpur bureau chief Samer Allawi

The Qatar-based news network previously described Shireen's death as a "blatant murder" that violates "international laws and norms" and that it has assigned a legal team to refer her killing to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett reportedly said according to information Israel has gathered so far, “it appears likely that armed Palestinians — who were firing indiscriminately at the time — were responsible for the unfortunate death of the journalist.” - Mkini

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