[News] World Press Freedom Day 2018: A Bleak Picture in the occupied Palestinian territory.
news at freedomarchives.org
Thu May 3 10:21:44 EDT 2018
World Press Freedom Day 2018: A Bleak Picture
Today, 3 May 2018, on the occasion of International World Press Freedom
Day, freedom of thought and expression remain a constrained phenomena in
the occupied Palestinian territory.
While events are taking place around the world to commemorate the day,
26 journalists currently sit in occupation jails, a poet has been
convicted of incitement in an Israeli court, and the Palestinian
Authority’s (PA) ‘Electronic Crimes Law’ remains a utilized piece of
Bushra Taweel, journalist and spokesperson for Aneen al-Qaid Network,
remains under administrative detention after she was arrested in
November 2017; as does Nidal Abu Aker, who hosted a radio show about the
prisoner issue on the Sawt al Waheda station. Having been held under
administrative detention on multiple occasions, Nidal’s current
detainment has been ongoing since August 2016.
The situation is not much better for those Palestinians who hold
citizenship from the occupying state. Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour was
today convicted of ‘incitement to terrorism’ and ‘support for terror
organizations’ after she published a number of poems on social media.
As for the ‘Electronic Crimes Law’
the majority of charges brought against journalists by the PA last year
remain on the books without any progress in their cases. Additionally,
Ahmad Awartani has remained in Jericho prison since his arrest on the 22
April for a Facebook post.
Finally, the continued instances of occupation forces firing on
individuals clearly marked as journalists in Gaza constitutes a severe
violation of the special status afforded to the press.
For the whole of historical Palestine, the cause of press freedom looks
bleak. For those who wield power, the one thing more dangerous that a
material challenger is those who can propagate a resistance of
consciousness. This is the exact role that a free press plays. It allows
people to understand their political situation and, therefore, to chart
a path forward. By inhibiting the freedom of press, not only is the
freedom of expression stifled but so is freedom of thought. For without
having a clear grasp on the reality, how can one begin to change it.
Addameer calls on both the occupying state and the Palestinian Authority
to abide by their obligations under Article 19 of the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to allow for freedom of
expression and thought.
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