Palestine

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the attack carried out by a large number of masked gunmen on a summer games camp organized by UNRWA at a beach in the west of Gaza City. The attackers set fire to parts of the camp and damaged its contents in the early morning. PCHR calls upon the government in the Gaza Strip to seriously investigate the attack and bring the perpetrators to justice.

At a landmark conference held recently in Ramallah in the occupied Palestinian territory, delegates were told of documented cases of “honour” crimes where women and girls had been poisoned, strangled, shot and forced to commit suicide by arelatives because their alleged behaviours had tarnished the family “honour”. These behaviours included talking on the phone with a man, being late or the mere rumour or supposition that an illicit behaviour may have happened.

ويعد التقرير، الذي صدر في ثلاثمائة صفحة، هو المجلد الخامس من سلسلة تقارير التنمية الإنسانية العربية، التي يرعاها برنامج الأمم المتحدة الإنمائي، ويضعها عدد من المثقفين والباحثين في البلدان العربية. وانتقد التقرير أوضاع حقوق الإنسان في البلاد العربية، وعلاقة الدولة فيها بالمواطن وأمنه وحقوقه، وغياب الدولة المدنية.

The Economic and Social Council, Having considered with appreciation the report of the Secretary-General on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian women, Recalling the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, in particular paragraph 260 concerning Palestinian women and children, the Beijing Platform for Action adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women, and the outcomes of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly entitled “Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century”,

Nahla*, aged 30, from Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza, said she was physically and mentally abused for more than 10 years by her husband before being granted a divorce three months ago. Fear and cultural factors prevented her from seeking help from women’s organizations. “I never tried to go to the police to complain about my husband's criminal acts, because he threatened to kill me if I did,” Nahla told IRIN. “And I never went to complain to any women’s rights organizations because I didn’t think they would be able to solve my problem - and I was also scared that my husband would find out.”

Questions for Hibaaq Osman, founder and director of Karama: 1. How have efforts to implement the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA) in the Arab region evolved since Beijing? Has this been satisfactory? Since the adoption of the BPFA, there has been considerable progress throughout the region in meeting international standards that reinforce gender equality. In particular, the civil society sector has expanded, proliferating local organizations whose mission it is to address key issues that have prevented governments and other authorities from enacting, implementing and enforcing laws that protect women from discrimination and violence. This NGO component had been largely missing and now acts to directly respond to the needs of the local community and communicate these to national and international authorities. In particular, a renewed focus on empowering women and increasing their role in decision-making has been demonstrated.

Female journalists worldwide complain about discrimination on the grounds of gender. However, their colleagues in Gaza also face death threats, the dangers of working in a war zone and the struggle for daily necessities as the Israeli siege on Gaza drags on. Last year a shadowy group in Gaza calling itself 'Swords of Islam' threatened to slit the throats of female journalists who appeared on TV with their heads uncovered, calling them "shameless and immoral." The Hamas authorities took the threat seriously enough to offer the women protection. However, the Hamas security forces have themselves on occasion been part of the many problems that Gaza’s small number of female journalists face.

For many years, photojournalism in Palestine was the exclusive domain of men. Women were largely restricted to only taking pictures of weddings and social events. Recently, Palestinian women have burst on the photojournalist scene challenging these social norms, while receiving accolades for the work abroad. Although the Palestinian Territories are filled with stories that are worth documenting through the lens of a camera no matter who carries it, the number of female photojournalists is still relatively low in comparison with male photojournalists.

حت عنوان "واحة الإفلات من المحاسبة والعقاب"، يصدر مركز القاهرة لدراسات لحقوق الإنسان اليوم تقريره السنوي الثاني حول حقوق الإنسان في العالم العربي خلال عام 2009. ويأسف مركز القاهرة لدراسات لحقوق الإنسان لأن يعلن للرأي العام، أن حالة حقوق الإنسان في هذه المنطقة، تتجه إلى المزيد من التدهور، حتى بالمقارنة مع الوضع المتدهور عام 2008. يستعرض التقرير أبرز التطورات ذات الصلة في 12 بلد عربي، هي مصر وتونس والجزائر والمغرب والسودان ولبنان وسوريا وفلسطين والعراق والسعودية والبحرين واليمن.

Today the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies released its second annual report on the state of human rights in the Arab world for the year 2009.  The report, entitled Bastion of Impunity, Mirage of Reform, concludes that the human rights situation in the Arab region has deteriorated throughout the region over the last year. The report reviews the most significant developments in human rights during 2009 in 12 Arab countries: Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Sudan, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Yemen. It also devotes separate chapters to the Arab League and an analysis of the performance of Arab governments in UN human rights institutions.

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