RAMALLAH, August 2, 2016 (WAFA) – In the presence of high ranking officials from international, regional and local journalist bodies, the state of Palestine launched the campaign to support freedom of press in the Arab world.
Journalists from Palestine and abroad signed a declaration, which calls for upholding values of correct conduct of journalism such as freedom of expression, right to access information, journalists safety, reform of media legislation, equality, self regulation of journalism, hate speech, and the independence of state media.
The declaration was adopted during a conference hosted by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the National Syndicate of the Moroccan Press (SNPM) in Casablanca on July 2.
It was endorsed by a number of international organizations including UNESCO, the Norwegian government, and Friedrich Ebert Foundation.
Ahmad Assaf, General Supervisor of the Palestine Broadcasting Corporation and Chairman of the Palestine News Agency WAFA delivered a speech on behalf of Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah who called for punishing Israel, which claims to be the only democracy while killing and arresting Palestinian journalists.
“This is the time to ask the IFJ delegation to show the world these crimes and punish Israel, by terminating its membership in such s for the crimes it commits against journalists.”
The campaign aims to promote for the declaration until it becomes a cornerstone that defines relations between journalists, media institutions, civil society organizations and political factions.
Naser Abu Baker, Head of the journalist Syndicate said the declaration coincides with Hamdallah’s recent initiative to pass a new law which guarantees journalists right to access information.
The campaign is the fruit of two years of intensive work and efforts that started in Palestine and continued until we announced the start of the campaign.
IFJ Deputy General Secretary Jeremy Dear condemned the arrest of Palestinian journalists and demanded the immediate release of journalists currently held in Israeli prisons as well as all Palestinian prisoners.
He affirmed that without legal protection and constitutional rights, journalists remain an easy prey to pressure.
The declaration is complied of an introduction and 16 articles, which aim to guarantee the highest international standards in relation to press work and journalists rights and protection.
The declaration affirmed that freedom of expression is a basic right to all humans guaranteed in all international charters and resolutions.