Civil Society Reps Want Law for Transparency and Information

Representatives of government and civil society called on August 8, 2016 for Palestinian policymakers to ratify the draft law on the right to access information.

During a workshop organized by the Media Development Center at Birzeit University and Palestine’s Anti-Corruption Committee (AMAN), a study by researcher Mohammad Abu Arqoub was released that detailed the importance of adopting a law that guarantees journalists’ the right to access information.

Head of Aman’s Anti-Corruption Unit Rafiq Natsheh, and Media Development Center director Nibal al-Thwabteh stressed the importance of adopting this law to provide journalists the opportunity to cover all of the issues that concern the community, especially corruption. They also pointed out that open government policies that focus on citizen engagement can increase the public’s trust toward the state.

Palestinian National Authority General Personnel Council Minister Mousa Abu Zaid affirmed that the political will existed to ratify the law in line with international standards, emphasizing the importance of building transparent institutions and systems of integrity.

The first workshop session, led by journalist Imad Al Asfar, called upon the Palestinian Authority to adopt the draft access to information law in line with international standards.  The second session, headed by Director General of the  Palestinian Anti-Corruption Commission Said Shehadeh featured speakers who described the current status of the draft law which is a collaborative effort between the authorities and media institution.