Arab IGF pre-event, “Internet Freedom: Rights and Responsibilities”  

The third edition of the Arab Internet Governance Forum taking place in Beirut, 25-27 November 2014, will be one of this year’s last events to discuss Internet policy. It is the main forum where Internet Governance issues specific to the Arab region are addressed, including the perspectives the main stakeholders of the Internet ecosystem. However, the outcomes of these discussions are non-binding, especially to the governments.
 
The IG debate in the Arab region cannot occur without covering one of the most controversial themes: Internet freedom. Human rights and the Internet are the centre of discussion at the openness session of the forum, and it will also be at the heart of a pre-event organised by the regional office of UNESCO, Maharat Foundation, and Hivos International on Monday, 24 November 2014 at the American University of Science & Technology.
 
The event aims to discuss the challenges faced by Internet freedom in Lebanon and the censorship faced by activists online. The discussions will highlight the principles of Internet freedom, the role of government in citizens’ protection, and the legal approaches to protecting Internet freedom. Hivos’ Programme on Internet Governance in the MENA region (www.igmena.org) will lead the discussion on Internet policy challenges based on the work done in the last 3 years. The meeting also presents a valuable opportunity to review the status of internet freedom in the Arab world, the violations against activists and the measures taken by governments from the region in this regard.
 
Meeting Schedule: 3:00-5:00 p.m.

Welcome remarks from the host, American University of Science & Technology

Session 1: Basic Principles for Internet Freedom Protection
Speakers:
  • Georges Awad, Communication and Information Officer at UNESCO
  • Tony Mikhael, Legal Expert at Maharat Foundation
  • Salim Alawzi, Blogger
 
Session 2: Existence of Laws Protecting the Internet
Speakers: 
  • MP Ammar Houri, Secretary of Information and Communication Parliamentarian committee
  • Gabriel Deek, Internet Society

Session 3: The Status and Challenges of Internet Freedom in the Arab World
Speakers:
  • Gamal Eid, President of the Arab Network for Human Rights Information
  • Hanane Boujemi, Manager of Internet Governance Program MENA Region-HIVOS

The discussion will be followed by an open debate. This workshop is open to students, academics, activists, and civil society organizations.