Ref: 19/2006

Date:  31 May 2006



French Consul General Visits PCHR

On Tuesday, 30 May 2006, PCHR hosted Mr. Alain Remy, the Consul General of France in Jerusalem, and Ms. Jacquiline Coulon-Lascaux from the Consulate staff, at the Centre’s main office in Gaza City.

Mr. Remy visited the Centre in order to learn about the programs and activities of its different departments.  He met Mr. Jaber Weshah (Deputy Director), Mr. Hamdi Shaqqoura (Head of the Democratic Development Unit), Mr. Eyad El-Alami (Head of the Legal Unit), Ms. Mona El-Shawwa (Head of the Women’s Rights Unit) and Mr. Darrin Waller (from the International Unit).

Mr. Weshah gave a presentation about the centre, the nature of its work and its various activities.  He stressed that these activities aim at extending support to Palestinian civilian victims suffering from sustained Israeli attacks against them and their properties, affecting their livelihood.

The heads of departments talked about the activities of their respective units.  Mr. Hamdi Shaqqoura described the Democratic Development Unit’s work, especially the monitoring of Palestinian elections through hundreds of monitors trained by the PCHR.  He said that the Centre monitored all stages of the elections in cooperation with other local NGO’s.

Mr. Eyad el-Alami gave a summary about legal aid and consultations provided to individuals and groups.  He pointed that the main pillars of legal work at the Centre are pursuing war criminals, working against Israeli human rights violations against Palestinians, as well as working against Palestinian human rights violations.

Talking about the Women’s Rights Unit, Ms. Mona El-Shawwa indicated that the main activities of the unit are providing legal assistance to women, including court representation; providing free legal consultation; increasing women’s awareness of their legal rights through lectures and public meetings; working to develop and change local laws in order to bring them in line with international standards.  Ms. El-Shawwa stated that these activities are conducted from the perspective of strong relations between the unit and women in the community, through close contact and interaction with their problems.

Mr. Remy expressed keen interest in the Centre and its activities, which contribute to enhancing respect for human rights and to supporting Palestinian victims.

It is noted that 10 years ago PCHR won the French Republic Award for Human Rights, one year after the Centre’s establishment.