Today marks the "International Right to know day". The “KHABIRNI” Coalition for the Right to Access Information in Palestine reaffirms the importance of empowering people to knowledge through the adoption of a modern law that allows access to information. This law serves as a cornerstone for the preservation of freedom of opinion and expression and the principles of democracy in Palestine.
The draft of the right to access information law was debated upon for 4 years and has now been submitted to the Palestinian Council of Ministers. This is significant particularly as it passed all required stages of consultations and discussions with the participation and engagement of intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, journalists, lawyers and the Palestinian anti-corruption commission before it was submitting to the Palestinian President for approval. Approval will only happen through a presidential decree due to the absence of a Palestinian legislative Council.
This year marks the 250th anniversary of the adoption of the first law on the right to access information by the Kingdom of Sweden and Finland, which led to 109 countries across the world to adopt similar laws, including three Arab countries: Jordan, Tunisia and Yemen.
The “khabirni” coalition, hope that Palestine will be the fourth Arab country to adopt such a law in harmony with the Palestine obligation to take legislative and non-legislative measures to ensure the realization of rights that are recognized in international conventions. Particularly the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which has been ratified by Palestine in 2014 and was included in the United Nation's sustainable development goals last year.
The “khabirni” believes that there is no justification for delaying or postponing passing this pivotal law, this law will guarantee for all Palestinian citizens to actively contribute in public life, and this will enhance integrity, anti-corruption, and more importantly, it will assist any government that seek openness and reform.
Constituent organizations of the coalition:
Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms “MADA”
Coalition for Accountability & integrity (AMAN)
Media Development Center – Birzeit University
Palestinian Journalist Syndicate