Activists call for slain Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh to receive Nobel Peace Prize despite 'posthumous' rules

Activists call for slain Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh to receive Nobel Peace Prize despite 'posthumous' rules
Activists are calling for slain Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh - who was killed by Israeli troops on 11 May - to receive a Nobel Peace Prize, despite rules stipulating the prize cannot be awarded posthumously
3 min read
17 May, 2022
The death of Shireen Abu Akleh was met by global outrage [Getty]

Activists are demanding that slain journalist Shireen Abu Akleh receives a Nobel Peace Prize.

Abu Akleh, who was killed at the age of 51, was a trailblazing Palestinian journalist who reported from occupied Palestinian territories for broadcaster Al Jazeera for over 25 years.

She was shot dead by Israeli troops on 11 May while covering an Israeli raid on Jenin.

In 2021 the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to Filipino journalist Maria Ressa and Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov for their “efforts to safeguard freedom of expression".

 Ressa's effort "to expose abuse of power… [and] the use of violence and growing authoritarianism” in her country was recognised.

Akleh’s fellow Al Jazeera employee Columnist Andrew Mitrovica, argued “that is what Shireen did every day for 25 years”.

“The Nobel Peace Prize… will not only fix Shireen’s life’s work and memory in the world’s consciousness, but pay her the honour and recognition she has earned and deserves,” Mitrovica wrote.

However, current regulations stipulate that the prize cannot be awarded posthumously unless death occurred after the announcement of the Nobel Prize – a rule activists hope can be revoked for the recognition of Abu Akleh's outstanding work.

The regulations were adopted in 1974 - before that former UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold won the Nobel Peace Prize after being killed in a plane crash in 1961,

Many people angered by the US-Palestinian dual national's killing took to social media to demand the Nobel Prize committee – who are elected by the Norwegian parliament -  give her the award.

“In a just world, [Shireen] would be awarded the [Nobel Peace] prize,” Tan Yee tweeted.

“Shireen Abu Akleh deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. Pass it on,” another twitter user wrote.

Another user tweeted at US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, highlighting she has “the capability of nominating Shireen Abu Akleh for the Nobel Peace Prize”.

Nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize can be submitted by anyone qualified to nominate, including members of national governments of sovereign states.

The death of the much loved media icon - who became a household name during the second Palestinian intifada and helped establish Al Jazeera as a major international network - was received with shock and outrage across the world.

Her killers have still not been brought to justice.