Reintroduction of the Justice for Shireen Act

Floor Speech

Date: May 18, 2023
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CARSON. Mr. Speaker, I am proud to reintroduce the Justice for Shireen Act today. I thank my House and Senate Colleagues that joined me to call for a report to Congress from the FBI and State Department, in consultation with the Attorney General, Secretary of Defense and Director of National Intelligence, on the death of American-Palestinian Journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh. I send my deep condolences to the Abu Akleh family for this terrible .killing and stand with them to demand justice and accountability.

Shireen Abu Akleh, an American-Palestinian Journalist, was killed, one year ago, on May 11, 2022. She was killed wearing a clearly marked press vest on assignment, reporting on a military raid which took place in the occupied city of Jenin. One year ago, I led a letter, signed by 58 Members of Congress, to the FBI and State Department calling for an independent and open investigation led by her home country, the United States, and 24 Senators have echoed this request. It is imperative that Congress be given the information it needs to conduct the necessary oversight. We must ensure no taxpayer dollars contribute to human rights violations or anyone's death--most especially an American abroad.

As an American, Ms. Abu Akleh was entitled to the full protections afforded to U.S. citizens living abroad. As Members of Congress, we need to uphold the values that our Nation was founded on, including human rights, equality for all, and freedom of speech. As Members of Congress, we have a duty to protect Americans reporting abroad. An Israeli investigation has concluded, finding that it was indeed an Israeli soldier that shot Ms. Abu Akleh in her line of duty. It is the responsibility of the U.S. to learn all the unanswered questions leading up to, during and after the fatal shot that killed Ms. Abu Akleh. Additionally, this bill requires an identification of any United States defense materials or services that were implicated in the death of Ms. Abu Akleh. No U.S. weapons and military services by the U.S. should be used to kill Americans on foreign soil. American taxpayers should not be paying for any violation of human rights abroad.

Mr. Speaker, I hope my colleagues will join me in calling for justice and accountability for Shireen Abu Akleh.