Adalah trains 20 young Arab lawyers to defend freedom of expression rights in Israel

Trainings provided introduction to theoretical explanations and practical aspects of defending freedom of expression rights, as part of EU-funded project.

In February 2016, Adalah held three days of legal training for 20 young Arab lawyers on a range of subjects related to freedom of expression rights in Israel, especially for youth. Adalah convened these specialized trainings for the first time in the context of a new two-year joint project with Baladna – Association for Arab Youth, which is funded by the European Union.


The purpose of these legal trainings was to provide an introduction to young lawyers on the theoretical explanations and practical aspects of promoting and defending freedom of expression rights. In turn, these lawyers will give 80 workshops to Arab youth groups across the country, including high school and university students, and other youth organizations.


The first trainings were held over two days on 5 and 6 February 2016 at the St. Gabriel Hotel in Nazareth. 20 young lawyers – 15 women and 5 men - aged 22-30 attended the session. Two participants, one man and one woman, come from and reside in the Naqab (Negev). The training was held as a series of lectures on freedom of expression and the right to protest-related issues given by lawyers, who are specialists in the field.


Four lectures were given on the first day of the training. The sessions began with a lecture given by lawyer and Member of Knesset from the Joint List, Dr. Yousef Jabareen, about the constitutional framework of freedom of expression. This presentation was followed by former Adalah Attorney Gadeer Nicola, who is currently the director of Kav L’Oved in Nazareth, who spoke about the wave of dismissals and sanctions against Arab workers for expressing their political positions regarding recent events from the 2014 Gaza War through the present, and how these actions violated their rights. Attorney Auni Banna, formerly with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, lectured on the right to demonstrate and the rights of detainees, who are arrested during protests, including the phenomenon of child detention and interrogation methods that violate the Youth Law. Then, Attorney Hussein Abu Hussein, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Adalah, gave a lecture on criminal violations of the right to expression, including recent cases involving the arrests of young Arab men and women for incitement based on their Facebook and other social media postings. The day concluded with a lecture by Attorney Alaa Mahajna about restrictions on freedom of expression of students in academic institutions.


Two lectures were given on the second day of the training. Adalah Attorney Aram Mahameed provided a lecture on the role of lawyers in the defense of the detainees in the first stage of the arrest and investigation, including the range of illegal practices used by the police. Attorney Omar Khamaisi, the director of Meezan Center for Human Rights (Nazareth) then spoke about the limits of political expression and the right of association, providing cases examples about the recent closure of charitable organizations associated with the Islamic Movement in Israel based on the Emergency (Defense) Regulations of 1945. The training concluded with a summary of main points discussed throughout the two-days and a discussion about the next stages of the project, led by the Acting General Director of Adalah, Attorney Suhad Bishara.


The second workshop was held for on 19 February 2016 for one day at Adalah's office in Haifa. This training focused on creating the freedom of expression/human rights awareness presentations that the young lawyers will deliver to the youth groups. During this training, the lawyers also received more practical tools in presentation skills to help them deliver information on freedom of expression rights to the youth audiences. Adalah’s Economic Researcher, Mohammed Zidani, led the presentation skills sessions.


In the next phase of the project, the young lawyers will provide 80 human rights educational workshops for youth on a range of subject related to the right to protest and freedom of expression. Further, Baladna, in cooperation with Adalah, will lead a series of trainings for 20 Arab young journalists to provide them with the knowledge and tools to write and publish about the promotion and defense of freedom of expression rights. The organizations will also conduct a media campaign to raise awareness about Israeli violations of Palestinian citizens’ and residents’ rights to protest and express their opinion. These activities will be undertaken in parallel to legal representation in freedom of expression rights/detention cases to be provided by Adalah.



Project funded by the European Commission

Joint project of Baladna – Association for Arab Youth, and Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel

The views expressed in this document are those of Baladna and Adalah and do not reflect the official position of the European Commission