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Arab Commission for Human Rights, European Arab Cultural Meeting
Arab Commission for Human Rights, European Arab Cultural Meeting
The Paris based Arab Commission for Human Rights held on Saturday March, 23rd, 2008, in the Parisian suburb of Malacove, a workshop entitled "In defence of civil society, freedom of speech in the Arab world".
Monday, March 24,2008 18:44
IkhwanWeb
The Paris based Arab Commission for Human Rights held on Saturday March, 23rd, 2008, in the Parisian suburb of Malacove, a workshop entitled "In defence of civil society, freedom of speech in the Arab world". It tackled the most serious obstacles facing civil society institutions and human rights organizations and how to face them. This workshop was a part of the European Arab meeting about which the Arab Commission for Human Rights issued a statement.
 
"In defense of the civil resistance and freedom of speech in the Arab world, the past months have witnessed a considerable deterioration in the level of main freedoms in several Arab countries. Capping these violations with an ideological claim, the Arab Ministers of Information have jointly issued a document, the worst against freedom of expression since Satellite channels and the Internet fled the supervision of the spy agencies, thanks to the IT revolution.
 
Anti-terrorism laws have been issued in several Arab countries to coexist shamelessly with the state of emergency. Underground prisons, detentions without court orders, travel bans and dismissal from work have become daily torture for any one fighting for public interests and defending people"s dignity. The resistant society or civil resistance are besiege with all their means: from the weblogs to attempted organizations. It has become difficult for the biggest human rights organizations to document daily violations.
 
Every day witnesses detentions, State Security Court session, testimony about a torture case, starvation through dismissing from jobs. In Morocco , detentions are carried out under claims of hunting terrorist networks. In Algeria , security views rule. In Tunisia , detention are carried out for uttering words and harassments are committed against activities and main living conditions. In Libya, a trial for civil society figures under a claimed Qaddafi makeup which people see as hiding ugliness. In Egypt , about 800 persons have been detained in less than three months and trials are held for editors-in-chief of five newspapers, four weblogs and websites and lengthening military trials against civilians. In Saudi Arabia, intellectual and human rights activist Abdullah Alhamed and his brother Eissa are thrown back to prison for the sixth time and a blogger is detained for expressing his views while there are more than 600 detainees who are jailed without any court order or ruling. In Yemen , several judicial rulings and harassments against the freedom of speech. In Syria , detentions include Fidaa Al Hourani and leaders from the Damascus Declaration and an insistence on keeping behind bars those detained among civil society figures since the detention of Aref Dalila (2001) until nowadays. In Palestine , the Palestinian people are facing the biggest siege on civil means of expression and daily medics in the midst of an international silence and sometimes Palestinian authority"s dictatorial practices. In Iraq , it is difficult to list all academic, cultural societal and media figures who were assassinated by more than eight parties starting from occupation forces and Mossad agents and ending with Iraqi official and opposition parties. In Lebanon , a number of journalists were killed due to expressing their views.
 
"This solidarity is not a defense for a specific party, policy or ideology. It is a defense for human dignity and people"s right to lead an honorable life, and freely participating in making their presence and future. It is a cry against barbarity to beef up the civil peaceful resistance front from the gulf to the ocean. It is a confirmation that the region must carve its name in history, through necessarily stopping the tragedy of dealing with the ruled as incapable seeking an age n which people reject tyranny and injustice. In the presence of a number of intellectuals and human rights activists from several Arab countries, we meet at six o"clock on Saturday evening, March, 22nd, on the evening of a Noruz that says no to despair, a spring that rejects assassinations, to declare our solidarity with all civil society figures who are detained, hunted under house arrest or are in exile."
 
The first session that started at 6 pm and entitled "Scenes from the body cancer" tackles the most serious obstacles that civil society institutions face in the human rights field in Arab societies. This session was headed by Haitham Manaa, deputy chairperson and spokesman of the Arab Commission for Human Rights.
 
Entitled "the awakening of citizenship and human rights", the second session headed by human rights activist Fathi Belhag discusses the most important features of the awakening of the principle of citizenship and calls for civil rights in Arab societies.
 
It is worth mentioning that the Arab Commission for Human Rights has participated last Thursday in the Belgian capital Brussels in organizing a meeting about the human rights situation in Egypt .

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