Middle East and North Africa
In partnership with members and networks, APC’s Internet Rights programme advocates for the protection, promotion and respect of human rights at the national level through the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a unique mechanism of the Human Rights Council involving a review of the human rights records of all UN member states.
In recent times there has been a dramatic increase in the use of internet and social media by Palestinians. In this context there is also a rising wave of online gender-based violence that leads to intimidation of women and self-censorship, which means that often women are withdrawing from social media platforms.
In order to exert pressure on the Palestinian government, coalitions held meetings between civil society representatives and governmental bodies concerning amendment of the law in 2017. These ongoing discussions in addition to campaigns launched by activists, journalists and lawyers compelled the government to issue a new law no. 10 in 2018 regarding Cybercrime.
7amleh – The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media published its annual research report on Palestinian digital activism. The report, titled #Palestine 2017, provides information about internet access and usage, examines the most dominant social and political campaigns and viral hashtags, and monitors human and digital rights violations against Palestinians.
APC’s subgranting programme, now in its third year, has so far awarded a total of USD 291,534 to support its members in achieving APC’s vision. Sixteen member organisations have been recipients of 17 grants. The call for campaign and research grants is still open.
The Syrian Council of Ministers passed a new anti-cybercrime bill on 5 March, creating specialised courts of first instance for cybercrime-related cases, APC member SMEX shared on their website.
The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and 7amleh - The Arab Centre for Social Media Advancement submit this statement ahead of the Human Rights Council 37th session to express our grave concern regarding the crackdown on freedom of expression and infringements on privacy online for Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians throughout the occupied Palestinian territories.
In the context of growing government control of mobile networks and a lack of transparency by both governments and companies in making these controls visible, this report by SMEX seeks to document the public disclosure of key policies by all mobile operators in the 22 countries of the Arab region, specifically terms of service and privacy policies.
This research aims to examine the performance of Palestinian organisations in relation to their media activity and their usage of social and digital media in particular. In many cases, the high levels of social media consumption by Palestinian society has imposed such means of communication on these organisations and associations.