With the participation of 26 journalists, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) concluded on Tuesday, 24 July 2018, a training course entitled: “The Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression”. The 15-hour course was held in PCHR’s office in Khan Yunis from 22 to 24 July 2018 in presence of ‘Issa Saba and Hashim Thalathini, Members of PCHR’s Board of Directors.
The training program was specifically designed for the targeted group. It focused on the introduction to human rights, the International Bill of Human Rights, the freedom of opinion and expression in the international conventions, restrictions imposed on the freedom of opinion and expression, the freedom of opinion and expression in the Palestinian laws, crimes related to freedom of opinion and expression in the Palestinian legislation, mechanisms of monitoring and documenting press violations, and rules of protecting journalists in the international humanitarian law.
A team of specialized trainers supervised the training sessions. The team included Abdul Halim Abu Samra, Head of PCHR’s Training Unit; Mohammed ‘Atallah, a Coordinator at PCHR’s Training Unit; Ahlam al-Aqra’ and Shareef Abu Nassar, lawyers at PCHR’s Legal Unit; and Yaser ‘Abed al-Ghafour, a fieldworker at PCHR.
At the end of the course, PCHR organized a closing ceremony. ‘Issa Saba, Member of PCHR’s Board of Directors, confirmed PCHR’s role in defending the freedom of opinion and expression and disseminating the culture of respect for opinion and expression. He also clarified that that the course contributed to enhancing their skills in the field of defending their freedom of opinion and expression and their ability to carry out similar activities to disseminate the culture of disagreement in the Palestinian society according to PCHR’s vision.
Abdul Halim Abu Samra, Director of PCHR’s Training Unit, said that this course aimed at enhancing the concept of freedom of opinion and expression and means to guarantee this right and promoting media activists’ skills, improving their technical and practical efficiency in the field of integrating human rights in their work, developing their capability in disseminating the culture of human rights through their daily work, providing them with the knowledge of mechanisms that can be followed to defend their rights in order to access to justice in case they are attacked, briefing them of PCHR’s work as part of its follow-up of the violations committed against Palestinian journalists, and issuing periodic reports that document the reality of the freedom of opinion and expression, and the violations against journalists and the mechanisms to defend their rights.
Journalist Ayman al-Sheikh Salamah, Director of the al-Arabi Press Office, and one of the participants thanked PCHR for its efforts in organizing these courses that media workers need during their work and called upon all the official bodies to allow journalists to express their opinions and do their work freely without harassments. Ayman al-Sheikh Salamah also called for opening the doors for journalists and facilitate their work, so they could professionally transfer the truth. He also said that: “the course was characterized with its rich topics and contributed to raising participants’ awareness of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; trainers’ efficiency and various and interactive training methods used in the course.”
At the end of the course, all participants received certificates.