Conference focuses on women’s rights, fight against extremism

Women’s rights, extremism and the importance of journalism were addressed at the 15th Arab Media Conference, which began in Amman on Saturday. (Supplied)
Updated 20 November 2018

Conference focuses on women’s rights, fight against extremism

AMMAN: Women’s rights, extremism and the importance of journalism were addressed at the 15th Arab Media Conference, which began in Amman on Saturday.
The two-day conference, organized by the Arab Media Center, was held under the patronage of Princess Basma bint Talal, honorary chairperson of the Arab Media Women’s Center (AMWC).
During the opening, Jordanian Minister of Political and Parliamentary Affairs Musa Maaytah said that the most prominent violation of human rights in the Arab world centers on the right to life itself.
At a time when intolerance and terrorism have increased, he said, “the first right is usually violated, and that is the right to live. We must stand against this violation,” Maaytah said.
“With the new technologies brought upon us, the truth is now harder to portray than ever, and we have witnessed this.”
He said the positive energy between Jordanian and Arab women journalists needed to be enhanced, and women empowered to transform challenges into opportunities to strengthen their positions in the media.
The conference aimed to raise awareness about violations of freedom of expression, and to highlight the work of the media in exceptional circumstances given the conflicts in many Arab countries.
Mahasin Imam, director of the AMWC, said: “We shall never give up, even through pain (in seeking) the truth and facts.”
Nabras Al-Mamouri, president of the Iraqi Women Journalists Forum (IWJF), highlighted the importance of employing the media to promote gender issues, and of women leaders’ efforts individually and collectively to make changes.
The conference was attended by Arab journalists from the UAE, Tunisia, Oman, Algeria, Morocco, Yemen, Sudan, Bahrain and Lebanon as well as a number of other countries.
It addressed issues such as social media, different forms of extremism and their impact on Arab societies, and the role of the media in countering extremism.


Palestinian journalists protest wounding of colleague

Updated 17 November 2019

Palestinian journalists protest wounding of colleague

  • Muath Amarneh has been in an Israeli hospital since he was hit in the eye Friday during clashes
  • Dozens of Palestinian journalists rallied Sunday with one eye covered in solidarity

JERUSALEM: “The eyes of truth will never be blinded,” protesters’ placards read, as Palestinian journalists wore eye patches Sunday to decry the wounding of a colleague in the occupied West Bank.
Muath Amarneh has been in an Israeli hospital since he was hit in the eye Friday during clashes between Israeli border police and Palestinian demonstrators in the village of Surif, close to Hebron in the southern West Bank.
Dozens of Palestinian journalists rallied Sunday — protesting with one eye covered in solidarity.
Amarneh, who is being treated in Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, said he was some way from the protesters when he was hit by what he believes was Israeli fire.
“After the clashes started, I was standing to the side wearing a flak jacket with press markings and a helmet,” the freelance cameraman told AFP on Sunday.
“Suddenly I felt something hit my eye, I thought it was a rubber bullet or a stone. I put my hand to my eye and found nothing.”
“I couldn’t see and my eye was completely gone.”
He said doctors at the hospital told him a fragment of metal, about 2 centimeters long, pierced the eye and settled behind it near the brain.
Amarneh’s cousin Tareq, accompanying him in hospital, said doctors planned to extract the metal but changed their minds after discovering they could also damage the right eye or even trigger bleeding in the brain.
A spokesman for the Israeli police denied that the photographer was targeted, saying fire was “not directed at all” toward him.
“The security forces operated in the area in front of dozens of rioters, some of them masked, who threw stones at officers and burned tires,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
“The response by the forces was using non-lethal means in order to disperse the rioters.”
Amarneh, who comes from the Dheisheh refugee camp near Bethlehem, claimed he was targeted as a journalist.
“There is an unnatural and ugly targeting of journalists,” the father-of-two said.
Since the incident Palestinian journalists have launched a campaign, with protests in several cities in the West Bank.
In Bethlehem Sunday, border police dispersed a sit-in by journalists at the checkpoint north of the city, an AFP journalist said.
Demonstrators wore eye patches and held signs aloft.
Tear gas cannisters were fired by the border police, the journalist said.
Seven people were lightly wounded, according to Palestinian health officials.
In the city of Tulkarem, about 250 journalists took part in a sit-in to show solidarity, according to journalists present.
A video and photos of Amarneh spread immediately after his injury, with journalists trying to carry him with blood flowing from his left eye.
The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate says 60 journalists have been hit by live ammunition this year, the majority in Gaza — an enclave where violent weekly protests along the border often lead to dozens of demonstrators being wounded.