The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) concluded today, 03 May 2016, the 2-day “No to Silencing the Press” campaign that was launched on Facebook and Twitter no the World Press Freedom Day. This campaign aimed 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 displayed PCHR’s recommendations in this regard.
Mohammed Abu Hashem, Researcher at PCHR and coordinator of the campaign, highlighted the campaign “is a significant precedent in the field of human rights and a turning point for the human rights movement to outreach the target groups, especially the youth, in an unconventional way that fits the spirit of our time and meets the goals of human rights organizations to widely unveil the truth.” Abu Hashem hoped that this successful experience would encourage the youth action in the field of human rights and freedoms.
One-hundred and twenty bloggers from inside and outside the Gaza Strip participated in the campaign organized by PCHR in cooperation with the Social Media Café of al-Ameen Media Network. Seventy of them participated as a focus group and published their tweets and posts on Twitter and Facebook in English and Arabic as they started their meeting from 10:00 to 14:00 in the meeting hall at al-Salam Restaurant in Gaza City. The campaign addressed the most important data and recommendations concluded in the 2 reports issued by PCHR, 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 territory (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).
The campaign was locally and regionally covered by media and was followed by bloggers from different Arab countries, as they used the 2 hashtags #إخراس_الصحافة and #SilencePress to post on violations against the press in their countries. Some satellite channels also published posts about violations and harassments against journalists.
Millions from around the world followed the campaign on Facebook and Twitter, as the number of followers reached over 3 million during the 2-day campaign, while the number of followers on Facebook reached tens of thousands. Moreover, the hashtags were trending in respect to the number of posts, photos and videos published.
PCHR launched this campaign as part of its longstanding efforts to protect human rights and freedoms, especially the freedom of expression, which is considered the cornerstone for democracy and human rights.