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.
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.
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
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
After 53 days in Bethlehem prison, he was