Wednesday, July 6

Prominent Artists Call for Accountability for Shireen Abu Akleh’s Murder

We are deeply shocked by the killing by the Israeli occupying forces of the highly respected Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, while she was going to report, wearing a press vest, on an Israeli incursion into the occupied city of Jenin last Wednesday. As we mourn her loss, we ask that the perpetrators of this crime and all who authorized it be held accountable.

The attack by heavily armed Israeli forces on the Palestinian funeral procession shocked and horrified us even more. Soldiers beat and kicked attendees and pallbearers on the grounds of St. Joseph’s Hospital in occupied East Jerusalem to prevent them from carrying Abu Akleh’s coffin and marching to the church for the planned funeral.

What are we to make of the brazenness and cruelty of this attack on human dignity?

The murder of Shireen Abu Akleh is a serious violation of international humanitarian law and an attack on journalism and freedom of expression. UN and international human rights experts have said it may constitute a war crime and should be subject to an independent and transparent international investigation. However, what happened is far from being an isolated event. Israeli forces have killed 45 journalists since 2000, injuring many more, simply for doing their jobs. These crimes are part of a pattern of violence, harassment and intimidation against Palestinian journalists that sheds light on what Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Israel’s leading human rights organization B’Tselem have described as a system of apartheid. imposed on the Palestinian people.

For many years, Palestinian human rights and civil society groups have called on the international community to take proportionate and targeted steps to hold Israel accountable for its crimes and end its impunity. We fully support your appeal.

When Israel’s policies blatantly violate international laws and norms, it is because Western powers have always provided diplomatic cover for it to do so. It has not gone unnoticed that while our governments have rushed to impose blanket boycotts and sanctions in response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and its cruel attacks on civilians, the same governments continue to finance and protect the occupation of Israel for decades. and gross human rights violations against Palestinians.

Meanwhile, our governments are taking undemocratic steps to suppress non-violent pressure campaigns by their own citizens aimed at holding Israel and the companies and institutions that are complicit in its system of oppression to account.

We call on our governments to end their hypocrisy and act consistently in the application of international law and human rights. We ask that you take meaningful steps to ensure accountability for the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh and all other Palestinian civilians. There must be no double standards when it comes to the basic human right to be free from persecution and oppression and the right to life and dignity.


Khalid Abdullah, actor

Hany Abu Assad, film director

Tunde Adebimpe, musician

Ahsan Akbar, poet

Yasmine Al Massri, actress

Omar Al Qattan, film director

Monica Ali, author

Candace Allen, writer

Pedro Almodóvar, film director

Anthony Anaxagorou, poet

Ramin Bahrani, film director

Adam Bakry, actor

Saleh Bakri, actor

Joslyn Barnes, producer

Roy Battersby, TV director

Sarah Beddington, filmmaker, artist

Ronan Bennett, author, screenwriter

Frances Black, singer

Nicholas Blincoe, author

Iciar Bollain, film director

Juan Diego Botto, actor, playwright

Haim Bresheeth, filmmaker

Victoria Brittain, writer

Adam Broomberg, artist

David Calder, actor

Carmen Callil, editor

Eric Cantona, actor

Iggor Cavalera, musician

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, choreographer

Julie Christie, actress

Isabel Coixet, film director

Steve Coogan, actor, comedian

Mark Cousins, writer, director

Liam Cunningham, actor

William Dalrymple, author

Angela Davis, author

Andy de la Tour, actor

Jeremy Deller, artist

Stephen Dillane, actor

Sara Driver, film director

Ben Ehrenreich, author

Brian Eno, musician

Jodie Evans, producer

Shepard Fairey, artist

Bella Freud, designer

Peter Gabriel, musician

Trevor Griffiths, playwright, screenwriter

Kathryn Hahn, actress

Charles Hayward, musician

M Imhotep, musician

Nicholas Jaar, musician

Gemma Jackson, Production Designer

Jim Jarmusch, film director

Asif Kapadya, director

Aki Kaurismaki, director

John Keane, artist

Brigid Keenan, author

Patrick Keiller, filmmaker

Peter Kennedy, artist

A. L. Kennedy, writer

Jennine Khalik, journalist

Naomi Klein, writer, activist

Peter Kosminsky, screenwriter, director

Jan Kounen, director

Nancy Kricorian, writer

Hari Kunzru, novelist

Seun Kuti, musician

Lankum, band

Paul Laverty, screenwriter

Mike Leigh, film director

Laima Leyton, music, artist

Jim Loach, film director

Ken LoachDirector

Donald Lunny, musician

Mahmood Mamdani, writer

Miriam Margolyes, actor

Kika Markham, actress

Yann Martell, writer

Emer Martin, writer

Massive Attack, band

Kleber Mendonca Filho, director

Christy Moore, music

Thurston Moore, musician

Tom Morello, musician

Carol Morley, Principal

Laura Mulvey, film scholar

Karthika Nair, poet

Mira Nair, film director

Courttia Newland, writer, screenwriter

Pratibha Parmar, film director

Maxine Peake, actress

Aubrey Powell, Designer

Philip Pullman, writer

Stephen Rea, actor

Boots Riley, writer, director

Bruce Robbins, writer

Olga Rodriguez, writer

Jacqueline Rose, writer

Arundhati Roy, writer

Mark Ruffalo, actor

Alberto San Juan, actor

Susan Sarandon, actress

Alexei Sayle, comedian, writer

James Schamus, writer, producer

Nick Seymour, musician

Kamila Shamsie, writer

Tai Shani, artist

Alia Shawkat, actress

Tide Stamper, DJ

Juliet Stevenson, actress

Tilda Swinton, actress

Colm Tóibín, writer

Ricky Tomlinson, actor


V, author, screenwriter

Yanis Varoufakis, author

Mirza Waheed, writer

Harriet Walter, actor

Roger Waters, musician

Irvine Welsh, writer

Monique Wilson, actress, activist

Jane Wilson, artist

Louise Wilson, artist

Michael Winterbottom, director

Penny Woolcock, writer, director

Susan Wooldridge, actress

Robert Wyatt, musician