From the Heart of An-Najah National University: UNESCO Launches an Arabic Version of its Annual Report on World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development
On Tuesday, February 6th, 2018, An-Najah National University, in cooperation with Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (HiOA) and the UNESCO Organization, have launched the Arabic Version of the UNESCO Global Report on
World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development (WTR) at the Prince Turki Bin Abdul Aziz Theatre in the New Campus.
The event was attended by Dr. Ali Abu Diak, the Minister of Justice, who represented His Excellency the Prime Minister Professor Rami Hamdallah, Prof. Maher Natsheh, Acting President of An-Najah, Ms. Hilde Haraldstad, the Norwegian Representative in Palestine, Mr. Tomas Brundin, Deputy Consul General of Sweden, Dr. Lodovico Folin Calabi, UNESCO Representative to Palestine, Dr. Bernt Eide, Representative of HiOA, Mr. Nasser Jawabreh, Office Manager of the Ministry of Information, Ms. Rima Al-Amleh, Representative of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate and a number of Palestinian journalists and university students.
The report is a summary of the monitoring process of violations of freedom of expression in the world. It includes what citizens using modern media and journalists working in media organizations encounter in the frame of the UN efforts to guarantee freedom of expression, freedom of the press and the public's right to know and access information.
In the opening speech, Prof. Natsheh welcomed the attendees and expressed his delight about launching the report at An-Najah and mentioned that freedom of expression is a basic right and the essence of democracy. He also stressed the importance of mutual cooperation between An-Najah and HiOA and thanked the Norwegian and Swedish governments for supporting Palestine.
Dr. Diak said that President Mahmoud Abbas was the first Arab leader to sign the Declaration of Media Freedom in the Arab World. He stressed the importance of supporting Palestinian journalists, whose rights are violated everyday by the Israeli occupation, including being murdered, injured and detained.
In turn, Ms. Haraldstad thanked An-Najah for hosting the event and confirmed the Norwegian support to Palestine in terms of preserving journalists' rights and the freedom of expression.
Mr. Brundin pointed out that the report conveyed shocking facts regarding what journalism is going through around the world, including gender discrimination, journalists being threatened and hate speeches. He also talked about journalism and freedom of expression in Sweden. He then commended the UNESCO role in supporting journalists and said that Sweden is always ready to support UNESCO in this field.
Dr. Folin said that this is the third edition of the UNESCO report; it was first launched in 2014. He added that the selection of Palestine to launch the report is due to the exceptional circumstances Palestinian journalists work in. He added that UNESCO offers clinical and first aid training to protect journalists from the dangers they face while doing their job.
Dr. Eide stressed the importance of the cooperation with An-Najah, especially with the journalism and media departments. He also condemned the Israeli violations against Palestinian journalists.
Mr. Jawabreh mentioned that during January 2018, Palestinian journalists confronted 142 abuses; 28 journalists are now detained by the Israelis.
Finally, Ms. Al-Amleh exhibited statistics of the Israeli violations against Palestinian journalists and asked for an immediate intervention by UNESCO and the international associations to protect journalists.