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Electronic Media and Human Rights


This study is the harvest of 9 months hard work by a committed research team studying the extent electronic media influences and is influenced by human rights issues and movements. It also sought to study the extent to which Arab human rights organizations have used the Internet to promote their issues.

Seeing that this research is probably the first of its kind, we are aware of its limitations. Every time the team sat to draft a new section of the study, it would reopen a discussion on what had been written. Finally, we agreed to present the study in its current format. We apologize for any criticism. To the extent of our knowledge, this research is the first of its kind. Throughout our work we have maintained our honesty and our scientific integrity as much as possible.

The sudden death of the main researcher, Mohamed Hakem, was a shock to all of us and to all those who have known him. To honor him, we thought it would be best to continue working on the research, dedicating the final product to his memory.

This study is based on a 6 month period of open discussions and detailed browsing of the sample Web sites, leading to an analysis of what had been published on the selected Web sites during the year 2006. In addition, the results of a workshop conducted by HRinfo, in which editors of the selected Web sites, representatives of human rights organizations, and media and human rights experts participated, were integrated into the study. The research also included a daily follow-up period of the selected Web sites over a period of one month.

This study was prepared by sociologist Mohamed Hakem, research assistant Abdu Abdel Aziz Hamada, and HRinfo executive director and legal researcher Gamal Eid. Ziad Mekky and Nafissa Alsabagh translated it.

HRinfo also expresses its gratitude to Sally Sami, Shehab Fakhry, and Randa Abul Dahab, for their efforts in editing and providing valuable assistance for this study to finally see the light of day.

We also would like to thank editors of the sample Web sites, human rights organizations, and the media and human rights experts, who, through their discussions of the preliminary findings of our research and their recommendations, made this study what it is today.

This study was funded by Ford Foundation. The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information is responsible for the results and opinions found in the study.