Palestine: Local Authority Forces Citizens to Apologize for Facebook Posts

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فلسطين: سلطة محلية تجبر مواطنين على الاعتذار عن منشورات كتبوها على "فيسبوك" وتقوم بتصويرهم

Skyline International condemns the action of a Palestinian
village council, in cooperation with local authorities, to force
several young people to apologize for exercising their right to express their opinion on Facebook.

A video that appeared to be an “apology session” organized
by the Village Council of Seida in the West Bank city of Tulkarm in cooperation with Fatah movement was published on the official Facebook page of the council.

Facebook Apology Session

A video that appeared to be an “apology session” organized
by the Village Council of Sidon in the West Bank city of
Tulkarm in cooperation with Fatah movement was published on the official Facebook page of the council.

It shows a conversation between a group of Palestinian officials and villagers talking about the importance of “apologizing for criticism”.

“We hope that you will not do it againband that you apologize
for both the Sidon Village Council and Fatah in this current session and on Facebook”, they said.

The clip then shows a group of young people apologizing to
the representatives of the village council and the representatives of Fatah for their “mistakes”.

According to available testimonies, the youths criticized the
village council of Sidon and the Fatah movement that runs
the council for the electricity crisis in the village, through their comments on a statement posted on the village council’s Facebook page.

The Apology 

The Sidon Village Council and Fatah forced the young
Palestinians to attend the apology session, in addition to
filming them and publishing their apologies on the official page of the village council on Facebook.

Article 19 of the Palestinian Basic Law stipulates that “Freedom of opinion shall not be prejudiced.

Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion and to circulate it orally, in writing or in any form of expression or art, with due consideration to the provisions of the law.” 

Article 19 of The International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights (ICCPR) states that everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression.

this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.

Skyline International considers the video very alarming and violates one of the most fundamental human rights guaranteed by various laws including the Palestinian Basic Law stated in the Constitution of the State of Palestine.

Skyline International states that what happened in this video is a clear violation of the freedom of expression and that forcing citizens to apologize for exercising their right to express their opinion is unacceptable. 

The organization called on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Mohammad Eshtiyeh to consider the matter of the common video and work to hold those responsible accountable.

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