- Published on Tuesday, 19 June 2012 11:25
On Monday, 18th June, Judge Farid El-Jallad, President of the Supreme Court and Chief of the Palestinian Supreme Judicial Council, met with a delegation from the Palestinian Center for Development and Freedoms (MADA), to discuss freedom of expression in Palestine.
The delegation included the Director General of MADA Mousa Rimawi, legal unit coordinator Ghazi Bani Odeh, and public relations officer Riham Abu Aita.
Mr Rimawi presented Judge El-Jallad with a letter urging judges to consider issues relating to freedom of opinion and expression.
He discussed the recent deterioration in media freedoms, including the prosecution of journalists and bloggers and the blocking of websites.
Judge El-Jallad said the Supreme Judicial Council had begun to dedicate specific judges to hear cases of journalists in the light of recommendations from the media justice conference, held in Jericho in May this year.
He also emphasised the importance of developing the legal skills of journalists to ensure they avoid committing libel. He praised the important work of MADA Center and stressed the importance of cooperation with the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate. Judge El-Jallad also stressed the importance of cooperation between MADA and the Supreme Judicial Council media center on issues related to freedom of expression and information.
Mr Rimawi welcomed the decision of the Palestinian judiciary to acquit journalist Alaa Al-Titi, and columnist Isam Shawar, and expressed the hope that the judiciary would continue to uphold the law without cruelty.
He also stressed the urgent need for amendments to media laws and for new laws around access to information.