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First visit by UN expert on freedom of expression

Dec. 2, 2011 9:02 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 2, 2011 9:09 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The UN's special rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression will undertake a fact-finding mission to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory this month, officials said.

Frank La Rue's visit will be the first for the UN mandate, a UN statement said.

"During my mission, I will meet with Government officials from both Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, as well as with human rights defenders, journalists and media professionals," he said.

The independent expert plans to meet with "individuals and UN agencies to gather first-hand information on the situation of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and freedom of the media."

La Rue added that the main purpose of his trip "is to contribute, through collaborative engagement with all interlocutors, to enhance the enjoyment of the right to freedom of expression for all."

He will report his findings to the UN Human Rights Council next June.
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