This week I was planning to write about the Queen’s speech, delivered this week by HRH Prince Charles, as the British Parliament began its new parliamentary session and the Government outlined it parliamentary priorities. There are now six proposed pieces of legislation by the British Government that will impact our collective rights to both freedom of expression and privacy in the United Kingdom. But my views on the ideological incoherence of the Government’s approach to freedom of expression will have to wait until next week.
Because today we mourn the death of another journalist. On Wednesday, Shireen Abu Akleh, a well-known and well regarded Palestinian-American journalist was killed while doing her job in Jenin.
According to Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ) Shireen is the 17th journalist to have been killed in the line of duty in 2022. Index has fought to defend the rights of journalists for over fifty years. Every attack on a journalist is an effort to stop people speaking truth to power. It’s an attempt to quash dissent and to impose a single world view. And every death seeks to silence not just the voice of journalists but through them the voices of all of us. We cannot allow those who seek to repress their populations to win.
Today our thoughts and prayers are with Shireen’s family and loved ones. And as much as we mourn her today, we remember and honour the work and sacrifices made by her, her family and the sixteen other journalists who have lost their lives in 2022.
6 January – John Wesley Amady, Haiti
6 January – Wilguens Louis-Saint, Haiti
9 January – Pu Tuidim, Myanmar
17 January – Alfonso Margarito Martinez Esquivel, Mexico
5 February – Rohit Biswal, India
9 February – Evariste Djailoramdji, Chad
10 February – Heber Lopez Vasquez, Mexico
23 February – Maximilien Lazard, Haiti
1 March – Yevhenii Sakun, Ukraine
13 March – Brent Renaud, Ukraine
13 March-1 April – Maks Levin, Ukraine
14 March – Oleksandra Kuvshynova, Ukraine
14 March – Pierre Zakrzewski, Ukraine
15 March – Armando Linares Lopez, Mexico
23 March – Oksana Baulina, Ukraine
Late March – 2 April – Mantas Kvedaravicius, Ukraine
11 May – Shireen Abu Akleh, Occupied Palestinian Territory
Each of these brave journalists needs to be remembered and celebrated for their work and their sacrifice. And their families need and deserve both the truth and, most importantly, justice.