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Palestinian officer sentenced to one year in prison for criticizing Abbas

mansour

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A Palestinian military court in Ramallah ordered that a Palestinian military liaison officer be sentenced to a year in prison and have his military rank suspended for writing a post on social media criticizing Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for attending the funeral of former Israeli President Shimon Peres.Osama Mansour’s sentence was awaiting final approval from Abbas, Mansour’s son said, adding that the order had been issued while Mansour’s lawyer was out of the country.Mansour was charged with “disobeying orders” after being detained on Oct. 1 for publishing a post on his Facebook page asking Abbas to reconsider his decision to attend Peres’ funeral.Mansour, also known as Abu Arab, served as the director of public relations and media at the Palestinian military liaison, a unit with the Palestinian security forces responsible for coordinating security with Israel.In his post, Mansour, also known as Abu Arab — had highlighted the irony of Abbas offering his condolences for Peres — “the founder of settlement activity” — in spite of the Palestinian president’s repeated condemnation of the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements.“Whether (Peres) was a terrorist or not, whether he invented of the policy of breaking bones during the First Intifada or not, whether he was involved in the Jenin refugee camp massacre, the massacre of the al-Yasmin neighborhood in Nablus, or the massacre of Qana — who is he that you are going to partake in his funeral while the majority of the people you represent oppose him?” the post read.“There should be no personal or friendly relations with the occupier, as long as they continue with their arrogant policies against our people.The Palestinian Authority (PA) has come under fire for cracking down on Palestinians from the occupied Palestinian territory criticizing the Palestinian government.In August, International NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report notably revealing that Palestinian security forces in the West Bank had detained activists and rap musicians for criticizing the PA’s well-known security cooperation with Israel, while also accusing the government of corruption.The group stated that the recent violations of freedom of speech represented a larger pattern by Palestinian authorities which has been documented by the group over the past five years.“At a time when many Palestinians are critical of their leaders, the crackdowns have a chilling effect on public debate in the traditional news media, and on social media,” the report read.Despite the fact that violations of press freedoms by Palestinian authorities have been fewer and less severe than those committed by Israeli authorities, Palestinian press freedoms watchdog MADA noted in a recent report that as a direct result of violations by Palestinian authorities, Palestinian journalists and media workers “avoid addressing several topics” and practiced self censorship.

(Source / 12.10.2016)

Tags: ICC4Israel

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