MADA center launches Digital Rights Campaign in Palestine

PNN/ Bethlehem/

The Palestinian center for development and media freedoms “MADA” continues its first awareness campaign activities about digital rights in Palestine, the campaign that was launched on August the 6th aims to raise awareness of the importance of digital rights, and the necessity to stop violations of freedom of opinion and expression and information on-line by Palestinian and Israeli sides. The campaign will also raise awareness on the importance to draft a code of conduct for e-journalism.

MADA center conducted a 3 day workshop last month, for 23 active journalists and media students on the best uses of social media in journalism and conducting media campaigns, the trainees learned about human rights in the digital era and the right to access information through the internet, and then explored the right to access internet and its status in Palestine, which is being violated by the high monthly charges for ADSL from Pal Tel (the non-competitive, low quality service, un affordable prices, that never meets citizens expectations, and the only telecommunication company in Palestine) , in addition the citizen pays monthly charges for the internet providing companies.

Trainees launched a hash tag #لازم_يطير , which means it must fly, advocating for the right to access the internet for every Palestinian citizen, which can be made possible if the government made ADSL access broadly available for free. And according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, only 48.3% of Palestinian homes have ADSL access, which leaves 51.7% of Palestinian homes without the ability to access the internet, and there are no recent studies about the reasons preventing these Palestinian families from accessing the internet, but with a monthly minimum wage of 1450 Israeli shekel (approximately 415 USD), trainees found that the monthly charges that citizens have to pay for ADSL and for the internet provider are very high, and a financial factor had to be part of the problem.

The trainees also started a word press blog for the campaign to raise public awareness about their basic right to access the internet, and about human rights that have been identified as relevant with regard to the Internet. These include: freedom of expression, data protection and privacy, freedom of association, the right to education and multilingualism, consumer rights, and capacity building in the context of the right to development.

This campaign is supported by IFEX the global network defending and promoting freedom of expression.

Click here to know more about #mydigitalrights campaign in Palestine