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National Press Club to Honor Late Al Jazeera Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

·3 min read

WASHINGTON, July 19, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Following is a statement from National Press Club President Jen Judson on the Club's decision to honor the late Al Jazeera Correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh with the 2022 President's Award that will be conveyed at the Club's annual Awards Dinner on Aug. 31.

"Our hearts go out to Shireen's family and colleagues. Her tragic death while covering a military action in Jenin was deeply felt across the entire global journalism community. She was a highly accomplished professional and veteran broadcaster with a wide following among Al Jazeera viewers. She was also an American citizen, and we feel her loss deeply here in the United States and at the National Press Club. While questions remain about the circumstances of her shooting, based on multiple investigations it is now understood that the fatal bullet was fired from an area controlled by IDF forces where no Palestinians were present. At the time no crossfire was occurring in or around the area where Shireen and her colleagues were working, leading to the conclusion that IDF forces were not engaged in the return of fire.

"When Shireen left for work May 11, she donned a helmet and bullet proof vest marked PRESS but that was not all she brought to protect her. She traveled with the experience gained  working regularly and over many years in the West Bank. She knew where to stand and where not to stand. She knew how to behave to survive in that very dangerous environment. Her instincts were acute. She was careful. For years her life had depended on that.

"At the time of Shireen's death, we called for a fair and independent investigation to determine what happened. Fully understanding these events can help encourage greater safety for all journalists working in the West Bank and across the world. We see a complete investigation as part of Shireen's legacy and in the interest of everyone who benefits from the safety of journalists and a free press. We are for peace and justice and we recognize the acute suffering of many families -- both Palestinian and Israeli -- from these troubles. We are for safer conditions for all journalists who cover conflict. And we do admit we pay particular attention to the safety of American journalists wherever they work.

"We hope that a complete investigation will provide a degree of justice for Shireen and her family and improved respect and safety for all journalists working in the West Bank and other conflict areas. We honor Shireen with The President's Award for her life's work and with the hope that her death will help create a legacy that makes her colleagues safer now and in the future. And we remain committed to efforts that help push for complete and thorough investigation."

The President's award is given at the discretion of the President of the National Press Club. Past recipients of the President's Award include: Richard C. Hottelet of CBS News, who was captured and held behind German lines in World War II and Brian Lamb the founder of CSPAN.

Founded in 1908, the National Press Club is the world's leading professional organization for journalists. With 3,000 members representing nearly every major news organization, the Club is a leading advocate for free press in the U.S. and worldwide.

Contact: Bill McCarren, 202-662-7534 for the National Press Club

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View original content:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/national-press-club-to-honor-late-al-jazeera-journalist-shireen-abu-akleh-301589502.html

SOURCE National Press Club