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Justice For All Statement: Call for Accountability in the Killings of Journalist Mohammad Al-Salhi

Justice For All steadfastly champions the rights and safety of journalists globally, recognizing their pivotal role in sustaining democracy, transparency, and accountability. With deep sorrow and unwavering resolve, we address the tragic killing of journalist Mohammad Al-Salhi, whose life was taken by Israeli military forces while he was engaged in their professional duties. These grave incidents not only represent an immense loss for their families and the journalistic community but also starkly illuminate the perilous conditions under which journalists operate in conflict zones.

The case of Mohammad Al-Salhi, a photographer for the Fourth Authority News Agency, who was fatally shot by the Israeli military while covering events from the border east of Al Bureij, a refugee camp in central Gaza, exemplifies the acute risks faced by journalists. Documented by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and the Journalists Support Committee, Al-Salhi’s death has prompted calls for a thorough investigation. Despite wearing a press helmet and flak jacket and clearly identifying as a member of the press, Al-Salhi was targeted and killed—an act that underscores the urgent need for accountability and measures to protect journalists.

The CPJ’s appeal to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to investigate the killing of Mohammad El-Salhi and hold those responsible accountable underscores a broader demand for justice and respect for press freedom. The lack of response to CPJ’s inquiries highlights a concerning disregard for international appeals for accountability and the protection of journalists’ rights.

In light of these egregious violations of international humanitarian law and direct attacks on the freedom of the press and expression, Justice For All has submitted Al-Salhi’s case to the International Criminal Court (ICC), advocating for the recognition of the targeted killings of journalists in conflict areas as war crimes under the Rome Statute. Our submissions detail the legal protections journalists are afforded and calls for immediate ICC action to bring perpetrators to justice.

The tragic deaths of Mohammad Jarghoun and Mohammad Salhi, particularly the detailed account of Al-Salhi’s killing as reported by his brother, Moez al-Salhi, serve as harrowing reminders of the dangers journalists face. These incidents compel the international community, national governments, and all stakeholders committed to human rights to unite in demanding justice and enhanced protections for journalists.

As we await the ICC’s review of our submission, Justice For All’s commitment to the protection and rights of journalists worldwide remains firm. Achieving justice for Mohammad Jarghoun, Mohammad Salhi, and recognizing the murder of journalists as a war crime under the Rome Statute are critical steps toward preventing future violence against journalists and ensuring they can safely perform their vital work.

We stand in solidarity with journalists everywhere, honoring the memories of Mohammad Jarghoun, Mohammad Salhi, and all journalists who have paid the ultimate price in their quest for truth. Let their sacrifices motivate us to strengthen our efforts in protecting the brave individuals dedicated to bringing light to the darkest corners of our world.

For justice, for freedom, for all.

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