Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) rapped up a workshop on access to information in Palestine, that targeted public relation officers, and representatives from the public sector, with 16 participants including “Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Justice, the supreme judicial council, ministry of interior, ministry of education and higher education, ministry of Health, youth and public prosecutor, Palestinian Police, preventive security service, Palestinian government media center”, in continuation to previous efforts on the right to access information in Palestine, funded by the representative office of Finland in Ramallah.
This workshop is of particular importance as it is the first of its kind targeting the public sector in Palestine.
The main objective of the workshop was to raise awareness and highlight the importance of this right, as a preparatory step towards the enactment of the law before the end of the year as pledged by Dr. Rami Hamdallah (Prime Minister), Mr. Ali Abu Diak (Minister of Justice).
Workshop sessions were led by trainers Mr. Majed Arouri; a media specialist and legal researcher, and Mr. Raed Abdulhamid lawyer; Mr. Arouri addressed different aspects of access to information and the protection of right to privacy.
On the third day Mr. Abdulhamid focused on the right to access information as stipulated by international conventions and emphasized enacting a law that conforms to Palestine’s ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the significant role of public sector in this regard.
Mr. Mousa Rimawi, General Director of MADA Center, had kicked off the workshop with an opening note recounting MADA’s different programs and activities aiming at promoting freedom of expression and the development of Palestinian media. He also emphasized the importance of enacting the law on right to access information, which would benefit the Palestinian’s society as a necessary step to strengthening freedom of expression and media in Palestine. Furthermore, Judge Fateen Saif, a participant in the workshop, expressed his support to adopting the right to access information law in Palestine, praising MADA’s efforts towards achieving this goal, and stressing the need for a final draft of the law that aligns with international standards. He also pointed out the importance of strengthening public awareness on the right to access information, describing it being at the top of the pyramid when it comes to Human rights and freedoms.
Lastly, all participants expressed their complete contentment, of the training and how valuable it was, they also assured the importance of enacting a law in this regard, additionally they demanded for more training courses and workshops to build their capacities, certificates were presented to all participants.