07.28.22

Van Hollen, Leahy Announce Appropriations Language Requiring State Department Report On The Shooting Death of American Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, announced the inclusion of legislative text within the Committee-released State and Foreign Operations report requiring the Secretary of State to submit a report to Congress on the steps taken to facilitate and support an independent, credible, and transparent investigation into the shooting death of American citizen and journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

Senators Van Hollen and Leahy were joined in submitting this language by Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) – all of whom are members of the Subcommittee. The group released the following statement:

“The United States must ensure an independent, credible, and transparent investigation into the shooting death of American citizen and journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. Our report language requires the Secretary of State to submit a report to Congress on steps taken to support such an investigation and provide further details on the findings. We will continue working to get the full truth about this tragedy, ensure accountability, and make clear our unwavering support for freedom of the press and the safety of journalists around the world.” 

The text of the reporting requirement reads:

The Committee directs the Secretary of State to submit a report to the appropriate congressional committees not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of the act on steps taken to facilitate and support an independent, credible, and transparent investigation into the shooting death of Palestinian-American citizen and journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, including whether section 620M of the FAA applies to such case. The report shall detail which independent party conducted the investigation and the findings therein. 

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