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MADA holds workshops on freedom of expression legislation in Tulkarem and Jabalia

(MADA/IFEX) - Ramallah, 27 June 2011 - The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) held two workshops concerning international and local legislation on freedom of expression on 26 June 2011, in Tulkarem city in the West Bank, and Jabalia city in the Gaza Strip.

In Jabalia, MADA legal consultant Karim Nashwan discussed freedom of expression guarantees in international and local law and outlined the printing and publishing law. Nashwan highlighted article 19 of Palestinian Basic Law guaranteeing freedom of expression and discussed international laws relating to journalism, particularly their context in areas of war and conflict and the differences between military and civilian correspondents. Participants also discussed the statutes of freedom of expression in Palestine and their relationship to professional and social responsibility.

The workshop concluded with the journalists calling for the observance of general freedoms, in particular the right to freedom of expression in Palestine. Participants additionally demanded that they not be drawn into internal political disputes and be allowed to operate with the objectivity required for ethical journalistic practice.

In Tulkarem, trainer Jihad Harb outlined the overall principles of established human rights law, discussed the particulars of international and local legislation relating to freedom of expression, and highlighted the mechanisms in place to protect journalists.

Participating journalists reaffirmed the need for such workshops and requested that MADA provide additional workshops in Tulkarem. Participants emphasized their need as journalists for further awareness on the media laws protecting them and the legal protocol for defending themselves when they have been subjected to violations.

These workshops, which have been offered with the support of Foundation for the Future, come as part of a series of sessions held by MADA to inform and assist journalists in the various cities across the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

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