(NEW YORK)–PEN America issued the following statement in response to reports that the Israeli Defense Force has admitted there was a “high probability” that Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, a U.S. citizen, was killed by an Israeli soldier while she was covering a military raid in Jenin in May of this year. Following an internal investigation, the IDF stated that the killing was accidental and it appears no action will be taken against the soldier who fired the fatal shot.

Liesl Gerntholtz, director of the PEN/Barbey Freedom To Write Center at PEN America, stated: “The IDF’s investigation into the tragic shooting of Shireen Abu Akleh comes far too late and delivers far too little. The time taken to conduct the investigation, the lack of information about the parameters and the failure to hold anyone accountable undermines trust that they in fact have conducted a complete and impartial inquiry into the tragic shooting of Ms. Abu Akleh. PEN America calls on the U.S. government to conduct a transparent and comprehensive investigation into her death. Her family deserve to know exactly how and why she was shot and to receive justice for her death.”

About PEN America

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. Learn more at pen.org.

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, STrimel@PEN.org, 201-247-5057