US attendees pay tribute to the slain Al Jazeera journalist and call for an independent investigation into her killing. Washington, DC – Hundreds of Palestinian rights supporters and press freedom advocates have gathered in Washington, DC to pay tribute and demand justice for Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank last week. The candlelight vigil, held outside the National Press Club late on Tuesday, came nearly a week after Abu Akleh was fatally shot while on assignment. “We grew up watching Shireen. Shireen was our voice. And we felt like that voice was cut off,” Najat Ghanem, a mother of two, told Al Jazeera, as she held back her tears. Abu Akleh reported from the Palestinian territories for decades – covering all aspects of life under Israeli occupation. Salma Shanaa, a Palestinian-US teacher residing in neighbouring Virginia, said the killing of Abu Akleh on May 11 while she was wearing a flak jacket clearly marked with the word “PRESS” was the “ultimate injustice”. “She has been in our house for 25 years,” Shanaa told Al Jazeera, referring to Abu Akleh’s TV appearances. “I felt like I lost a sister. We all felt the pain deep within our hearts. Shireen is not better than the martyrs who preceded her, but Shireen is a symbol.” As cars drove by – with many honking their horns in support – the attendees sang Mawtini (My Homeland), a song considered by many Palestinians as an unofficial national anthem. Lina Musmar, a pharmacist who was draped in a Palestinian flag, said Abu Akleh was killed while telling the truth about the injustices in Palestine. “It’s just very difficult to believe that she was killed like that and the way they treated her casket at her funeral,” Musmar said. Israeli police on May 13 attacked Abu Akleh’s funeral procession and beat pallbearers carrying her coffin with batons in scenes that sparked outr . . . read the full article here.