Arab Civil Society parallel summit to Arab League in Tunis

Calling for improvement in human rights situation

29 March, 17:42

    (ANSAmed) - TUNIS, MARCH 29 - The Arab Civil Society Summit, which is running concurrent to the 30th Arab League Summit taking place in Tunis on Sunday, began on Friday in the Tunisian capital.

    In his speech opening the summit, president of the Tunisian National Journalists' Union (SNJT) Néji Bghouri said the Arab League Summit "won't come to any important decision regarding the real and urgent problems of Arab countries and people, including the Palestinian cause".

    The parallel summit aims to improve the situation of human rights in Arab countries, in particular in Algeria and Egypt.

    Bghouri said the summit intends to challenge the countries and leaders gathered at the Arab League Summit and put pressure on them to promote improvements "in terms of legislation and regulations".

    "We want to take advantage of the presence of media representatives from around the world in Tunis for the Arab Summit to express our point of view, as civil society, on the situation of human rights in Arab countries, the Palestinian cause, and various protest movements in the region," Bghouri said. "This parallel summit of Arab civil society also aims to raise awareness in Tunisian public opinion on the need to support Arab populations in their search for freedom," he said.

    Journalists, intellectuals and Tunisian writers launched an appeal to the Arab League, calling on its member countries to take up their responsibilities in terms of the Palestinian cause.

    Bghouri said that on Friday evening, participants at the Civil Society Summit will publish a declaration of support for the protests in Algeria.

    The summit will conclude with the sending of an open letter to Arab countries on March 31, with a list of recommendations to promote and protect human rights.

    Participants will express the unconditional support of civil society for Arab populations, including the Sudanese, the Algerians, and the Bahrainis.

    A meeting between Arab journalists is also planned and will be organised by the International Federation of Journalists, the General Union of Arab Journalists, and the National Union of Tunisian Journalists.

    The meeting will focus on support for the Declaration on Media Freedom in the Arab World.

    A variety of other important topics will be discussed at the summit, such as the situation of women in the Arab world, the death penalty, and torture.

    A demonstration of solidarity with Arab populations will take place on March 31 in front of the Tunis Municipal Theatre, with entertainment including a show by the Clown Activist Brigade.(ANSAmed).

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