Palestine's Decline on the World Press Freedom Index is a Normal Consequence of Enforcing the Legislation of Cyber Crimes and the High Criminal Court

2019-04-20

West Bank and Gaza Strip

Human Rights Defenders / West Bank / Gaza / Core Program 2016-2019 / position paper

Palestine's Decline on the World Press Freedom Index is a Normal Consequence of Enforcing the Legislation of Cyber Crimes and the High Criminal Court

 

The 2019 Press Freedom Index, issued on 18/4/2019 by Reporters Without Borders organization, showed a decline in Palestine’s ranking on the index, as it dropped down to 137, while it occupied the 134 place last year. MUSAWA- The Palestinian Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession, believes that the mentioned decline is not surprising, but rather a chance to activate the community pressure on decision-makers to address the reasons, policies and practices that caused the decline, primarily by repealing the decree-law on cybercrimes, which paid insufficient attention to the remarks of the CSOs and the United Nations observer, and the decree-law on the High Criminal Court, as there is no need for such laws, unless they are used to legislate the suppression of freedoms, the violation of the fair trial guarantees and the right of defense, or to promote the culture of the security approach, the increase of penalties and the restrictions on the constitutional rights of the citizens, primarily the freedom of opinion and expression and the right to access to information, in addition to interrupting public gatherings using violence, as happened in the West Bank’s governorates and as reflected in suppressing “We Want To Live” Movement in Gaza Strip.

 

MUSAWA notes that the decision maker’s continuation to violate the Basic Law and breach the provisions of the international covenants and agreements signed by Palestine and the continuation of detaining opinion leaders, would result in a greater decline in Palestine’s ranking on the World Press Freedom Index, and thus losing the support of the international community, and reflecting Palestine’s contradiction between its mission and vision, as those, who yearn for freedom, has to protect the citizens’ freedom of opinion and their right to participate in shaping the present and the future. Thus, the current texts of decree-laws on the High Criminal Court and Cyber-Crimes must be abolished.      

 

Issued on 20/4/2019

 

MUSAWA- The Palestinian Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession

 

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