On the World Press Freedom Day that marked 02 May 2016, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) launched a 2-day blogging campaign titled “No to Silencing the Press”. Over 114 male and female bloggers participated in this campaign through publishing posts and tweets on Facebook and Twitter.
The campaign was launched at 11:00 in the meeting hall at al-Salam Restaurant in Gaza City. Seventy bloggers participated as a focus group and published their tweets and posts on Twitter and Facebook in English and Arabic. Many other bloggers, who were not present in the meeting hall whether inside or outside the Gaza Strip, participated in the campaign as well. The blogging campaign lasted until 13:30.
The campaign was opened by Mohammed Abu Hashem, Researcher at PCHR, who explained the campaign and its goals. He also announced that PCHR launched 2 reports relevant to the freedom of expression and press, which are titled as:
- Silencing the Press report, which is the 18thof its kind. The report covering the period from 01 April 2015 to 31 March 2016 addresses the Israeli violations against journalists working in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt); and
- A report on the Violations of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression in the PA, which is the 14th of its kind. The report covering the period from 01 April 2015 to 01 April 2016 tackles the most prominent violations against journalists and opinion makers in the Palestinian Authority (PA).
Abu Hashem displayed the most significant recommendations in the two reports and stressed the importance of the activity in exposing the violations to pressurize decision makers at local and international levels to stop these violations.
This campaign, which will be renewed on Tuesday, 03 May 2016, aims at unveiling the Israeli crimes committed against journalists and attempts to silencing the press and hiding the truth, as well as PA violations against journalists, opinion makers and bloggers in West Bank and Gaza Strip. Moreover, the campaign will display PCHR’s recommendations in this regard.
The bloggers gleaned many of their tweets and posts from the two abovementioned reports that are published periodically on the World Press Freedom Day. In addition, PCHR published posts and tweets taken from PCHR’s recommendations and reports mentioned above.
PCHR organized this campaign in cooperation with the Social Media Café of al-Ameen Media Network. The two hashtags #إخراس_الصحافة and #SilencePress were published on Facebook and Twitter and became trending ones on social media. It is expected that the 2 hashtags will be more trending the second day of the campaign.
This activity comes as part of the special attention drew by PCHR for the freedom of expression, in particular the freedom of press, which is considered one of the most important pillars for democracy and the guarantee for other human rights.