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Former Hamas minister briefly detained for insulting cleric

May 26, 2013 6:53 P.M. (Updated: May 30, 2013 10:09 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A former minister in Gaza's Hamas-run Ministry of Interior was briefly detained on Sunday for allegedly insulting an influential Muslim cleric, his wife said.

Ibrahim Abrash was initially arrested on Thursday by Hamas security forces and interrogated about some of his writings, which were deemed offensive to Egyptian-born Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who visited Gaza in May, his wife told Ma'an.

He was asked to issue a formal apology but refused, she added. Abrash was ordered to report back to security forces on Sunday, but failed to do so and was arrested.

"He is a writer, he has a right to express his opinions," his wife said.

Gaza's Ministry of Interior said Abrash was not arrested in relation to an issue surrounding the "freedom of expression," but rather for failing to show up after being summoned by security forces.

"No one is above the law," the statement added.

Abrash was released shortly after his arrest.
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