MADA reaffirms need to form an “international moot court” to sue journalists’ killers

PNN/ Ramallah/

At the time that the international community commemorating Human Rights Day, that marks 67 years of the general assembly adopting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, yet human rights violations in Palestine and other places in the world are continuing and even escalating.

The freedom of opinion and expression which we believe is the heartbeat of human rights, which is guaranteed in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, yet this right is subjected to excessive and systematic violations in the shadow of the unabated impunity.

In the light of this occasion we at MADA would like to reaffirm the following:

1- The importance of forming an international moot court to sue all perpetrators involved in killing journalists, or in enforced disappearance including the following key provisions:

• The court to be composed of retired judges with extensive knowledge of human rights issues particularly freedom of expression, and lawyers well versed in this field.
• Presenting five of the most prominent cases of killed journalists, enforced disappearances that occurred in the same year or previous years in different regions of the world.
• The moot court to be hold in the headquarters of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, if possible.
• The date of the session and sentencing coincided with the International Day to End Impunity on the second of November, besides culmination of the activities of all the institutions involved in this field.

(IFEX members from the MENA region talked about it in their meeting last month, and they felt it was a good initiative to address impunity).

2- Demanding the Palestinian Government to abide by all international treaties that Palestine ratified in 2014 particularly the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights 1966, its article 19 and the importance of harmonizing national laws with international treaties and standards, and the urgency of enacting a Palestinian Access to information law before the end of 2016 as promised by the government.

3- To put pressure on the Israeli government to stop its violations against freedom of expression in Palestine in general and against press freedom in particular, and compel it to apply and abide the rules of international law (international human rights law and international humanitarian law), moreover, we express and reiterate our concern and we warn from the danger that relies in the last agreement between the government of Israel and the Facebook company , which will constitute a violation of freedom of expression in Palestine, especially that a lot of governments will follow the example of Israel in signing similar agreements that would systematically breach the rules of international Human Rights law and violate freedom of expression.