This blog was published today by my colleague and friend, Jan, who is on the ground in Hebron. I am re-blogging sections of her post for my readers. Thank you, Jan, for your witness and for this window on the occupation and its systemic violation of human rights.
Freedom of the Press Suppressed
Posted byNovember 4, 2015
The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the UN General Assembly December 10, 1948. It came about in the aftermath of World War 2, and was the result of nations states coming together with the common purpose of affirming human rights for the entire human family, while seeking to avoid the atrocities of war. The drafting committee included Canadian John Humphrey, and was chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt. The document has been ratified by every country in the world and translated into 337 languages. It has been foundational for other declarations and treaties that have been agreed upon since then. As such, it is one of the most important documents of the 20th century.
The Declaration includes 30 articles, covering a wide range of human rights. Article 19 affirms freedom of expression as a fundamental human right. It reads: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
Respect for the freedom of the press and the rights of the residents of Hebron to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media was severely compromised early Tuesday morning, when the Israeli forces entered H1, the fully controlled Palestinian portion of the city of Hebron, at 2:30am. and raided the offices of radio station FM 92.7, HR.PS, carrying a military order that read, in part (translated from Hebrew), “the military commander orders to close the station because it is necessary for public order, for correct governance and for the security of the IDF forces.” According to the order, the station is to cease operation for a period of 6 months. Not only did the IDF close the station, they inflicted serious damage to the office and its equipment.
Freedom of the press is a foundational human right. As the preamble to the UN Declaration of Human Rights so clearly states, “every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive…to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.” Palestinians, as a people under the jurisdiction of Israel (as a result of the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine) are as deserving of this right as the citizens of the 192 countries that have signed the Declaration.
Peace, Salaam, Shalom,