DSC_0116The second half of the day at the SOCHUM committee revolved around the common accepted definitions of the previous terms – political prisoners and prisoners of conscience.

The delegates were keen on the unmoderated caucus, spending several minutes freely discussing the already mentioned concepts and in many cases, asking for extensions in the necessary situations, when supplementary explications should have been made.

A first clarification was made by the delegate of the Russian Federation, which stated that a political prisoner could be defined as a person who does not use violence, but has ideas against the government and undertakes  or undertook part in different  activities that could or are undermining the authority of the state, whereas the definition of prisoners of conscience was built around race, sexual orientation, religion or political views of the person in cause.

In addition, the delegates debated whether there is enough international legislation that protects the prisoner’s rights or there is a need for a new one and for new organizations that could clarify the cases and  protect the prisoners.

The second motion if the session was the one proposed by the delegate of France referring to the jurisdictional systems and the protection of political analysts, journalists and their sources.

There were 10 minutes of  active moderated debate, with an individual speaking time of 45 seconds, which eventually led to questioning the privacy of the journalists, the protection of privacy and the objectiveness of journalists (whether it is already guaranteed or not and the role it can play on a massive, international, media scale).

The second part of the session had the honour of several visits from the Secretary General and the Deputy Secretary General that supervised the debate and the board selection of delegates.

One of the last motions of the day was chosen by voting, between the Russian delegate’s one :how can we guarantee the protection of journalists and the Romanian delegate’s: political prisoners and their relation to political extremists. Ultimately, the motion proposed by the Russian delegate passed and the representatives of the countries found themselves discussing this particular issue.

In the end, the last part of the first day of debates at BISMUN 2016, in the SOCHUM Committee, revolved around concepts like: political prisoners, prisoners of conscience and freedom of speech. The delegates clarified the misunderstandings and proposed real solutions, finding common ground for the next step in adopting the resolutions- the draft papers.

By Elena Lupu

SOCHUM Press Officer

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