The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights’ (PCHR) Democratic
Development Unit (DDU) organized two new awareness meetings on political
participation and the right to freedom of opinion and expression, in
cooperation with al-Qarara Society for the Development of Woman
and child and the Palestinian Association for Citizenship and Community
Development in Khan Yunis.
The first meeting was held on Tuesday morning, 13 April
the al-Qarara Society for the Development of Woman and child in al-Qarara
village in Khan Yunis, with the participation of 21 members of the Society. Salah Abu Hatab, a social activist, presented
a paper on "The Concept of Political Participation." The participants were then given the
opportunity to engage in discussions. Abed Rabbu Abu Tayem, Head of Beloved Homeland Campaign, talked about the
importance of the educational factor in preparing members of the community and
empowering them to actively participate in influencing decision-making and
developing general policies of the society.
On Wednesday, 14 April 2010, the second meeting was held in
the offices of the Palestinian Association for Citizenship and Community
Development with 30 graduates and university students in presence. Mahmoud al-Efranji, a researcher at DDU,
presented a paper on “The Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression." Al-Efranji reviewed, as a part of his
presentation, international standards that regulate the right to freedom of
opinion and expression and the extent to which Palestinians laws are in
conformity with these international standards.
These two meetings are a part of a three-year project funded
by the European Union and Oxfam Novib. The project is titled Improving
Awareness and Respect for Human Rights in the OPT. These meetings are
also a part of continued efforts made by PCHR to raise awareness on the concept
of democracy in the Palestinian society, especially in view of the retreat of
Palestinians’ trust in the democratic process due to the ongoing political
fragmentation and its consequences.