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Israel and occupied Palestinian territory: First visit by UN expert on freedom of expression

GENEVA (2 December 2011) – UN Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue, will undertake a fact-finding mission to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory from 6 to 18 December 2011, in what will be the first visit by the mandate.

“During my mission, I will meet with Government officials from both Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, as well as with human rights defenders, journalists and media professionals, individuals and UN agencies to gather first-hand information on the situation of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and freedom of the media,” said the independent expert.

“The main purpose of this mission,” Mr. La Rue added, “is to contribute, through collaborative engagement with all interlocutors, to enhance the enjoyment of the right to freedom of expression for all.”

The Special Rapporteur will visit the occupied Palestinian territory from 6 to 11 December, and Israel from 12 to 17 December. He plans to visit Tel Aviv, the Negev, Ramallah, Gaza and other places in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.

A press conference will be held at 15h00 on 18 December 2011 at the American Colony Hotel (Pacha room, One Louis Vincent Street, Jerusalem).

The Special Rapporteur will present his findings and recommendations in his report to the Human Rights Council in June 2012.

Frank La Rue was appointed as Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression in August 2008 by the United Nations Human Rights Council. As Special Rapporteur, he is independent from any Government or organization and serves in his individual capacity.

For further information on the Special Rapporteur’s mandate, log on to: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/opinion/index.htm

OHCHR Country Page – Occupied Palestinian Territories: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/MENARegion/Pages/PSIndex.aspx

OHCHR Country Page – Israel: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/MENARegion/Pages/ILIndex.aspx

For press inquiries and additional information on the Special Rapporteur’s mission, please contact Ms. Momoko Nomura (Mobile: +972 54 280 2116 / Mnomura@ohchr.org) or write to freedex@ohchr.org.

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, OHCHR Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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