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Palestinian group launches Access to Information campaign

Dec. 6, 2012 10:52 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 6, 2012 10:53 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms, MADA, has launched a campaign to advocate for an Access to Information law in Palestine, the press freedom group said Thursday.

MADA has convened a committee of experts to rewrite the current draft law submitted to the Palestinian parliament in 2005.

The parliament has not convened since Palestine was split by factional infighting in 2007 into separate administrations in the West Bank and Gaza, suspending the parliamentary legislative process.

MADA director Mousa Rimawi said the group delivered a memo to legal representatives in the Palestinian Authority cabinet calling for the draft law's inclusion in the 2013 legislative plan.

The campaign draws on international standards on Access to Information and the outcome of an October conference in Palestine which included media, academia, civil society and government bodies.

"The performance of Palestinian media has been negatively affected during recent years due to both persistent violations against journalists and media outlets, and absence of law to ensure access to information by journalists and citizens alike," MADA said in a statement.

"Journalists have routinely faced great difficulties in accessing the necessary information so as to undertake their work adequately and efficiently."
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