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Sunday, January 22, 2006
Hamas to PCHR: We don't have rallies in Mosques - just sermons

PCHR
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Election Update No.15
Date: 22 January 2006

Violations of Electoral Campaigns Regulations

PCHR Receives a Letter from Hamas Denying Violations of Campaigning
Regulations

On Saturday, 21 January 2006, PCHR received a letter from the Islamic
Resistance Movement (Hamas) indicating the movement's "eagerness to abide by
campaigning regulations and all legal practices during the electoral
process." Hamas quoted the second paragraph of the elections law,
regarding, "abstaining from holding election rallies and public meetings in
mosques or churches." The movement considers that "the legal text is clear"
and "contains no ambiguity in prohibiting campaign rallies and public
meetings in mosques."

The letter comes in response to the Centre's earlier update on violations of
campaigning regulations, regarding the transmission of Al-Aqsa local
television station, since the 9th January 2006, from an antenna on the 3rd
floor of Al-Bashir Mosque in the Tal El-Za'tar area of Jabalia. The station
aired campaign propaganda for the "Change and Reform List," which is a
violation of the elections law.

PCHR reiterates that utilizing mosques and other public institutions in
campaigning, regardless of its form, is a violation of the law. The Centre
repeats its calls to all parties to abide by campaigning regulations, and to
refrain from using mosques during the election campaign.

Hamas letter sent to PCHR

Translation of the text of letter from Hamas to PCHR

Dear Mr. Raji Sourani,
Director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

Peace, Blessings, and Mercy of Allah be upon you,

Subject: Update No. 4 on Violations of Electoral Campaigns Regulations

We follow with interest your comments, and value your sincere efforts in
monitoring the electoral process. With regards to PCHR's update No. 4 on
violations of electoral campaigns regulations that requested from Hamas to
abide by campaigning regulations, we are very eager to abide by campaigning
regulations and all legal practices during the electoral process.

With regards to Paragraph 2 in Article 64 in the Law #9 for the year 2005 on
general elections, the law stated, "abstaining from holding election rallies
and public meetings in mosques or churches." It is an unambiguous legal text
that cannot be misinterpreted. It limited the prohibition to holding
campaign rallies and public meetings inside mosques. This was confirmed by
Mr. Ammar Duweik, the Executive Director of the Central Elections Committee.

We thank you for your concern and monitoring towards free and fair
elections.

With utmost respect,

Islamic Resistance Movement - Hamas
21 Thu'al-Hijja 1426 Hijri (21 January 2006)

***************
For more information please call: +972 (0)- 8 - 2824776 - 2825893.*
*Office Hours are between 0800 - 1600 hours (0500 GMT - 1300 GMT) Sun -
Thurs.

.......................
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
29 Omer El Mukhtar St., El Remal, PO Box 1328 Gaza, Gaza Strip tel/fax: +972
(0)8 282 4776 - 282 5893
email: pchr@pchrgaza.org website: www.pchrgaza.org

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