On Thursday, 27 November 2014, the
Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) organized a workshop on the death
penalty and extra-judicial execution in the Palestinian Authority. The workshop
was organized in Light House Hall in Gaza City, in cooperation with the Social
Media Club (SMC), and was attended by 24 persons, including 12 women.
In an unprecedented step in the process of
increasing human rights awareness, PCHR coordinated with SMC to broadcast the
workshop through social media networks – Twitter and Facebook – an allow
followers to watch the Power Point training material, express their opinions
and ask questions. The workshop was followed by 33,000 persons in Arabic and
English. They were involved in the discussion, expressed their opinions and
asked questions. The attendants in the hall and via the social media network
discussed their viewpoints and visions concerning the death penalty and the
need to abolish it.
The bloggers expressed their support for this
new technique. Na’el Khader, a blogger and SMC secretary, said that "this
workshop is one of the most important issues that must be seriously discussed
to increase people’s awareness, and the best means to implement this idea is
the social media, as it has addressed many issues. So, according to Khader,
"there must be a focus on the social media to raise any issue." The
workshop was facilitated on PCHR’s behalf by Mohammed Abu Hahsem, a legal
researched and human rights activist.
The workshop discussed a number of topics,
including the death penalty in international and domestic laws; guarantees
regarding the application of the death penalty under international and domestic
standards; the debate over the abolishment of the death penalty; and legal and
objective justifications for PCHR’s rejection for the death penalty in
Palestine. The workshop also addressed extra-judicial executions for alleged
collaboration with Israeli occupation authorities, and their serious impact on
the security and rule of law in the Palestinian society.
This workshop is part of PCHR’s efforts to
ensure abolishment of the death penalty. PCHR often focuses on media
professionals and social media activists in order to promote their contribution
to promotion of and respect for human rights, and the creation of a new
generation of human rights defenders.
The workshop is also part of a project
implemented by PCHR in cooperation with the Representative Office of Germany to
the Palestinian Authority.