A Journalist Jailed for a Facebook Post is Pardoned

A Journalist Jailed for a Facebook Post is Pardoned

The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

pardoned the journalist Mamdouh Hamamreh shortly after an appeal court in the

West Bank city of Bethlehem yesterday sentenced him to a year in prison.

A Journalist Jailed for a Facebook Post is Pardoned

Palestinian satellite TV station Al-Quds,

Hamamreh was arrested after yesterday’s ruling and is still being held in a

Bethlehem police station. A relative told Reporters Without Borders he is

expected to be released on 31 March on completion of various formalities.

The Bethlehem correspondent of the pro-Hamas

remains that it depended on the president’s will,” Reporters Without Borders

said. “A Palestinian citizen can still be jailed for insulting President Abbas.

We call for reform of the law so that news providers and ordinary citizens can

no longer be sentenced to imprisonment on charges of this kind.”

“We welcome this pardon but the fact

on 19 October, a few days after an Abbas photo was posted with a comment on his

personal Facebook page, prompting a complaint (No. 128/2012) from the public

prosecutor’s office.

Intelligence officials arrested Hamamreh

released pending trial. When tried in December, he was given a one-year

suspended sentence, which was widely criticized by Palestinian journalists.

Protest sit-ins were staged yesterday in Ramallah and Gaza in reaction to the

appeal court’s decision to impose an actual jail sentence, rather than a

suspended one.

After 53 days in Bethlehem prison, he was

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