The European Union Representative issues the following statement in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah.
The EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah note the decision taken by the Ramallah Magistrate Court on 17 October to block 49 Palestinian websites, under the Decree-Law No.10 of 29 April 2018 on Cybercrime. While the principle of freedom of expression is anchored in the Palestinian Basic Law, the EU has already pointed out in the past that the Decree-Law No.10 suffers from shortcomings in terms of terminology, clarity, consistency and predictability. These shortcomings lead to a risk of arbitrary application and abusive restriction of the freedom of expression and opinion.
The EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah encourage the Palestinian Authority to ensure the harmonization of Palestinian laws with International Human Rights conventions to which it has acceded, in order to guarantee that freedom of expression and the generally free and pluralistic media environment are preserved.