Jerusalem24 – President Mahmoud Abbas issued a decree on promoting public freedoms, and the official news agency Wafa stated that the decree emphasized the provision of a climate of public freedoms, provided that it was binding on all parties in the territory of the State of Palestine, including the freedom of political and national action, in accordance with the provisions of the Basic Law and the relevant laws.
The Director General of the Independent Commission for Human Rights, Ammar Dweik, considered that “the idea of the decree is good if it is intended to express a political will to stop the prosecution of any person based on his activity and political position.”
He added that the Commission hopes that it will be implemented on the ground and that it covers all cases and it will follow up the extent of compliance with the decree in the West Bank and Gaza.
From its part, the Palestinian Central Elections Committee welcomed the decree and said that it would enhance freedom of political and national action, and provide an atmosphere of freedom of opinion and expression.
It added that “it provides the possibility of political and electoral gatherings, especially during the electoral campaigning period, in addition to that it prohibits prosecution, detention, arrest, and all forms of accountability outside the provisions of the law.”
Promoting freedoms requires a political will
In another context, the expert in legal and constitutional affairs, Dr. Essam Abdin, in his interview with Jerusalem24, considered that “the presidential decree did not present anything new except for affirming the existence of detention against the background of freedom of opinion and political affiliation, and endorsing it is a disregard for the minds of citizens, freedoms, human dignity and political aspirations that some seek.”
“Promoting freedoms requires serious political will, respecting the constitution and laws, and ensuring non-repetition,” he said. “Freedoms and rights are permanent, natural and constitutional, and granting or blocking them is not by presidential decree, and assaulting them is a certain crime.”
It is mentioned that the decree stipulates the prohibition of prosecution, detention, arrest, and all forms of accountability outside the provisions of the law, for reasons related to freedom of opinion and political affiliation.
The decree which came in 9 articles including a clause on the release of detainees, and prisoners on the grounds of opinion or political affiliation, or for all partisan or factional reasons in the territories of the State of Palestine.
It also stipulated the provision of complete freedom for electoral advertising in all its traditional and electronic forms, publishing and printing, organizing political and electoral meetings and financing them in accordance with the provisions of the law, and providing equal opportunities in the official media for all electoral lists without discrimination, in accordance with the law too.
He stated that the police, in uniforms and not other security formations, would protect the polling stations and the electoral process in the territories of the State of Palestine, and ensure their fair conduct in accordance with the provisions of the law, in addition to providing full support for the Central Elections Committee and its crews to carry out its tasks.