MADA and Istiqlal organized Ceremony to announce the best moot court defending journalists

Ramallah- 09/11/2018- the Palestinian Center for Development and Media freedoms MADA, and The Civil Commission for the Independence of Judiciary and Rule of Law (ISTIQLAL) announced the results of a competition for the best moot court-pleading for students of law from different Palestinian universities including Hebron- ALQuds and Al Najah along with the Palestine Al-Ahlyyieh Universities.

The competition was attended by seven students from law faculties in the above mentioned universities. The process was supervised law instructors from different universities; the preparations for the final presentation took around two months of full training and supervision by the faculties in these universities. Partcipants who presented their plea before the court were the following : Heba Al-Oweiwi and Ranin Abidin from Hebron University, Anas Hamamreh and Saba Islimieh from the Palestinian National University, Zaid Al-Rajoub and Arij Shadeed from Al-Quds University, Tala Haj Hamad and Hadil Abdul Karim Hussein from An-Najah National University.

The competition was carried out through the formation of a moot court, represented by a panel of three jurists and academics, including Judge Rasha Hammad, head of the Judicial Training Institute, Dr. Ahmed Abu Jaafar, Professor of International Law at Istiqlal University, Dr. Essam Abdeen head of Advocacy at Alhaq , All the pleadings dealt with real cases of actual crimes against Palestinian journalists by the Israeli occupation, and dealt in particular with the recent murders of journalists Yasser Murtaja and Ahmed Abu Hussein who were targeted few months ago in Gaza Strip while covering the peaceful return marches.

The student Zein Abidin won the first place and was awarded the prize of $ 1000 by MADA Center and Istiqlal, while student Zaid Rajoub was second and Hadeel Abdul Karim was ranked third.
The jury praised the performance of all the students and explained that the differences between participants were very limited, and reviewed the strengths and weaknesses that permeated the pleadings that they presented.

Dr. Ghazi Hanania, Chairman of the Board of Directors of MADA, Dr. Nafea Al Hassan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Istiqlal, and Advocate Dawood Daraawi representing the Bar Association participated in the opening session of the competition. Law professors, academics and a host of law students at universities and a number of community activists also took part in the celebration.
Dr. Hanania addressed the widespread attacks and crimes against journalists and the media in Palestine by the Israeli occupation forces, and the importance of organizing such competition in order to shed more light on these crimes on the way to prosecute the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

Al-Hassan pointed to the high prices paid by journalists and writers over the decades of conflict with the occupation and still by the continued attacks of occupation and non-prosecution of the perpetrators of these crimes and the culture of impunity enjoyed by Israel.

Daraawi said that this activity falls within the framework of the concerns of the Palestinian Bar Association in the prosecution of perpetrators, pointing out that the first thing that is targeted in conflicts wars is the word of truth and attempts to obliterate them, and that the crimes committed against the press fall within the war crimes.

General Director of MADA illustrated that the organization of this competition is part of Mada’s efforts put an end to the culture of impunity enjoyed by perpetrators of crimes and attacks against media freedoms he also affirmed that MADA alongside with Istiqlal will be working toward the enhancement of this competition to be adopted regionally and internationally.

Whereas, Majid Al Arouri, Executive Director of Istiqlal, assured that this competition will turn into an annual tradition to promote the ending of impunity. Certificates will be distributed amongst the 17 students who participated in the competition since its first stage.

Finally MADA and Istiqlal praised the important role played by the members of the committee, university professors and deans of the law faculties who worked to make this competition a success.