On the International Day of Human Rights MADA: “Hopes for the enactment of ”A2I” law by the first half of 2014”
Ramallah – 10th December 2013: The Palestinian Center for Media Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) gained new hopes to see the hard work pay off, and we (MADA) are optimistic that by the first half of the coming New Year the Access to Information law might be enacted, now that the committee formed by General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers and the Anti-Corruption Commission to review the draft law “based particularly on the law drafted by MADA” completed its work three days ago, and produced a new enriched draft by all members of the committee, after their extensive discussions over the past few weeks.
The committee included representatives from the Anti-Corruption Commission, the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Information, Office of the Fatwa and Legislation, Ministry of Justice, the Independent Commission for Human Rights, the Civil Commission to strengthen the independence of the judiciary (Istiqlal), and a representative of the Palestinian Center for Development and Freedoms Media (MADA), and it held its first meeting on the fourth of November, followed by a series of intensive meetings to complete the new draft.
Mousa Rimawi the General Director of MADA stated that the center became optimistic after the committee completed their revision of the draft few days before the 65 anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which falls today, a day dedicated as the International day to celebrate Human rights including the right to access information.
Rimawi thanked on behalf of MADA Mr. Rafik Natsheh chairman of the Anti-Corruption , Dr. Fawaz Aqel General Secretary of the Council of Ministers and his assistant Legal Affairs Counsel Fawaz Abu Zer, the general manager of Mr. Rafik Natsheh’s office and the Legal Counsel of the Commission Professor Said Shehadeh, and Mrs. Rasha Amarna Chairperson of the Committee, for their efforts to form the Committee and follow up on its action plan, Rimawi also expressed his thanks to all the committee members for their efforts in enriching the draft.
Rimawi added: “But we must not forget the dreadful level of human rights in Palestine, where the Palestinian people still suffers from the denial of the most basic human rights due first to the Israeli Occupation and its continues violations on human rights including Media freedoms, with no end and without any concrete international interference to compel Israel to respect international laws and conventions, especially the Universal Declaration of human Rights, which guarantees freedom of expression. On the other hand the obnoxious Fatah-Hamas division negative effects on the human rights of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, where all attempts for conciliation in the recent years have failed, on this day, we (MADA) emphasize that it is time to stop all violations, especially on freedom of expression, and to refrain from pushing the journalists and the media in the Palestinian internal differences”.
MADA will continue its efforts to defend journalists, develop the Palestinian media, and amend and develop media legislations, we (MADA) will also continue our awareness campaign to promote freedom of expression and the right to access information, for we (MADA) believe in their great importance to the citizens of Palestine as well to its government, which wants to open up to its people. And here we (MADA) would like to thank all those who contributed and participated with us in the development of the draft law over the past year from journalists, experts, and civil society organizations and government institutions, and who supported those efforts, particularly the Legal Affairs Adviser to the President, Mr. Hassan Alouri, the Minister of Communications, Dr. Safa Nasser al-Din, and Undersecretary of the Ministry of Information, Dr. Mahmoud Khalifa, in addition to our International friends and partners who have supported us and provided advice and observations, especially (DECAF) center.