|IADL Executive Committee Holds a Number of Meetings with Public Officials and Local and International Organizations|
|Wednesday, 26 September 2012 00:00|
The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) Executive Committee is continuing its activities in the Gaza Strip, as the Executive Committee members have attended a number of meetings with public officials, and local and international organizations. The delegation, comprised of 18 lawyers including Mr Raji Sourani, Director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), is being hosted by PCHR this week for an historic visit to the Gaza Strip.
This morning, 27 September 2012, the Executive Committee met with Dr Mazen Haniya, the Palestinian Minister of Justice in Gaza. In the meeting, the participants addressed several topics, primarily: the independence of the judiciary; the means for providing access to justice; the activities of the Ministry of Justice; and political arrests.
The Executive Committee is continuing its activities this afternoon, as its members participate in a seminar, titled "Accountability for violations of international law in the occupied Palestinian territory".
On Wednesday, 26 September 2012, the delegation met with Ms Catia Lopes, the Executive Assistant to the Director of UNRWA Operations, and Ms Leonor Vilas Costa, Legal Officer in UNRWA. The meeting was held in PCHR's Head Office in Gaza City.
Executive Committee members also delivered three lectures in the law faculties of the University of Palestine, Islamic University, and Al Azhar University. The lectures were attended by deans, lecturers and students of the university law faculties. The delegates outlined their professional experience as lawyers. In addition, they discussed the common law system, the right to self-determination, and mechanisms for filing cases before the courts in their own countries.
In the evening, the network of Palestinian Non-governmental Organizations (PNGO) hosted the delegation, allowing them to meet with representatives of civil society organizations from across the Gaza Strip. Local organization representatives explained the key challenges they face in their work and the group explored the possible means of cooperation and coordination with IADL.
The delegation also met with a number of representatives of international organizations in the Gaza Strip, including OCHA, the OHCHR, WHO, UNICEF, and the ICRC. Delegation members were briefed on the nature of international organizations' work in the Gaza Strip and the main obstacles that threaten to restrict their work.
The IADL Executive Committee met with representatives of various Palestinian political parties, as well as religious and national leaders. The delegation received a detailed explanation of the internal situation, as well as the ramifications of the political split between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The group discussed the rights and freedoms which are guaranteed to the Palestinian people under the local and international standards.
On Tuesday, 25 September 2012, the delegation participated in the second conference of the Palestinian Bar Association, where Ms Jeanne Mirer, President of the IADL, delivered a speech. The Executive Committee met with a number of representatives of human rights organizations in the Gaza Strip, including: Mr Isam Yunis, Director of Al Mezan Center for Human Rights; Mr Jamil Serhan, Director of the Independent Commission of Human Rights; Mr Khalil Abu Shamala, Director of Addameer Association; and Mr Salama Bseiso, Deputy Director of the Palestinian Bar Association and Secretary-General of the Arab Lawyers Union. During a reception organized by PCHR, the delegation met with members of PCHR's Board of Directors, and a number of academics, human rights activists, lawyers, journalists, and representatives of international and women’s organizations.
The IADL, which was founded in Paris in 1946, is a non-governmental organization that has consultative status at the UN ECOSOC and UNESCO. Its members include lawyers from throughout the world and representatives of a number of national and regional associations and unions. The IADL has maintained a strong relationship with PCHR over many years and supports the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination.
The IADL Executive Committee took the decision to convene this bi-annual meeting in the Gaza Strip as an expression of the Association’s solidarity with the Palestinian people and their rejection of Israeli human rights violations against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.