Tuesday, April 28
Latest News
  1. Kerry: US defense commitment to Japan 'ironclad', includes Senkakus
  2. Kerry unveils $10 mln in Nepal quake aid
  3. Government: Nepal quake death toll passes 4,000
  4. Bahrain again extends top rights activist's detention
  5. Kerry to meet Iran FM Zarif on Monday
  6. Dozens of Iraqi police killed during fierce clashes in Ramadi
  7. First Saudi National Guards reach Yemen border zone
  8. Israel charges soldiers over looting during Gaza war
  9. Israel invites bids for 77 East Jerusalem settler homes
  10. Deutsche Bank Q1 profits fall 50% over $2.5 bn rate fixing fine
  11. Witnesses: 2 protestors shot dead in Burundi capital
  12. Small groups of protestors, police clash in Burundi capital
  13. Clashes rage in Yemen as calls for peace talks grow
  14. EU AgenPolice arrest 26 across Europe in horsemeat scandal
  15. US: Russia failing to fully implement Ukraine ceasefire
  16. Kerry urges Yemen rebels and their allies to enter talks
  17. Ex-Yemen leader urges rebel allies to heed UN, pull back
  18. Iraq lacks DNA results to test body of 'Saddam deputy'
  19. Family: Syria's sacked political spy chief dead
  20. Officials: 14 Somali, Afghan immigrants killed by train in Macedonia

Bethlehem police free journalist pardoned by Abbas

March 30, 2013 9:43 A.M. (Updated: April 2, 2013 6:59 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Palestinian police late Friday released a journalist pardoned by President Mahmoud Abbas after a court upheld his year-long sentence for insulting the president on Facebook.

Mamdouh Hamamreh was released Friday night from a police detention center in Bethlehem a day after an appeals court upheld his sentence on charges of insulting the leadership.

Hamamreh, a correspondent for the Islamic Jihad-affiliated al-Quds satellite channel, was charged over a photo posted to Facebook juxtaposing Abbas beside a similar-looking man who played the part of a collaborator with French colonial forces in a Syrian television drama.

In Paris, a leading press rights group said Abbas' pardon of the reporter was a welcome development, but it said the case highlighted the need for reforms to Palestinian media law.

"We welcome this pardon but the fact remains that it depended on the president’s will," Reporters Without Borders said in a statement a day after Abbas pardoned Hamamreh.

"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," it said.

Palestinian journalists and media watchdogs, saying Hamamreh was only "tagged" in the photo and did not create it, had already criticized the ruling and curbs on media freedom by the Palestinian Authority.

Hamamreh was the second Palestinian to be pardoned for insulting Abbas this year.

A court in the northern West Bank city of Nablus in February sentenced a local man to a year in prison for creating a picture of Abbas to make him look like a football player, and entitled it "the new striker for Real Madrid".

Anas Awad, 26, denied he had intended any offense and the president promptly pardoned him.
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015