Apartheid Board - Wrong in South Africa. Wrong in Palestine
oOh! Media claims billboard is political and refuses to reinstate it.
The Free Palestine billboard that was taken down last week from its City Road, Southbank position by oOh! Media pending a determination, will not be put back.
The Chief Operating Officer of oOh! Media said that his company had decided the Apartheid message – Wrong in South Africa. Wrong in Palestine. was political and that it was within its rights to terminate the contract with Australians for Palestine. He also advised that the Advertising Standards Board would not be making a ruling.
While clause 10.1 does allow for termination of the contract, the required seven (7) days written notice was never given. Instead the billboard was arbitrarily taken down within 48 hours. The company claimed that it had made its decision after considering the unprecedented number of complaints.
Samah Sabawi speaking on behalf of Australians for Palestine said “that this
action contravenes the rights to freedom of opinion and expression as set out
in articles 19 and 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights (ICCPR) to which Australia is party.”
According to the website of the Attorney- General’s department, Article 19(2) of the ICCPR protects freedom of expression in any medium, for example written and oral communications, the media, public protest, broadcasting, artistic works and commercial advertising. The right protects not only favourable information or ideas, but also unpopular ideas, including those that may offend or shock.”
In regard to this particular advertisement, Ms Sabawi went on to say “that the advertisement was truthful and in no way offensive, and furthermore, that its message was informational and educational rather than political. It is shameful, “Ms Sabawi said, “that in a democratic country like Australia, such pressure can contradict the opinions of the world’s two most eminent human rights proponents – Mandela and Tutu.”
This is yet another example of a handful of politically-motivated voices shutting down other’s rights to free speech. We expect more in a democratic Australia.
For further information contact –
Samah Sabawi 0427 777 747
Australians for Palestine
Hawthorn VIC 3122
Fax 03 8862 4699