The ICHR calls on the Minister of Communications to intervene to revoke the Websites' Blocking Decision

The Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) recently called on the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Dr. Allam Mousa, to exercise his powers to instruct the Internet service providers operating in the Palestinian territories to abide by the Basic Law and the other laws in force and take full account of the right of citizens to freedom of opinion and expression and their right of access to information and their fundamental right to use the Internet, and to make available and expand accessibility to the Internet at any time.

 

The ICHR addressed the Minister Mousa with respect to the decision attributed to the Attorney General to block a number of websites on the Internet who addressed the companies providing Internet and telecommunications services for its implementation.  The decision has already been implemented by blocking some websites on the Internet.

 

In its communication, the ICHR expressed its concern and anxiety of the blocking decision, which lacks any clear legal basis.  It pointed out that the blocking decision violates the international obligations of the State of Palestine in the field of human rights, especially after the UN Human Rights Council resolution in July 2016, which considered the use of Internet a fundamental human right and an essential approach point to achieve Sustainable Development 2030.  It unequivocally condemned actions in deliberate prevention, disruption and obstruction of access to information and denounced any intentional prevention, blocking or disruption of the Internet services.

 

The ICHR letter stated that such a decision was condemned by the Palestinian government earlier (in 2012), pointing out that the blocking decision may be an excuse and encouragement to the citizens to access the Internet through Israeli Internet networks, which affects the Palestinian national economy.