Palestinian journalist and blogger Ismat Abdel Khalik, who was arrested last
week for “insulting” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Facebook,
is planning to hold a press conference Wednesday to talk about her
Abdel Khalik, a single mother of two and former university
lecturer, was released from prison earlier this week.
A PA security
source said the woman will be charged in court with “insulting” Abbas by
describing him as a traitor and fascist on her Facebook page. She is also
suspected of having called for disbanding the PA.
It’s not clear at this
stage if the PA security forces will allow Abdel Khalik to hold a press
Abdel Khalik was arrested as part of a PA crackdown on
Facebook users, journalists and bloggers who are critical of the Palestinian
leadership in Ramallah.
In the past few weeks four Palestinians have been
arrested by the PA security forces for exposing corruption and publishing
critical comments on Facebook.
The Palestinians were arrested on the
basis of a 50-year-old Jordanian law that was once effective in the West Bank
and which bans “extending one’s tongue” against the monarch.
Damiri, spokesman for the PA security forces in the West Bank, said Tuesday that
the PA was in the process of reassigning its relations with the Palestinian
media in light of growing criticism against the clampdown on journalists and
bloggers. He admitted that some mistakes had been made recently by the PA and
reiterated the PA’s respect for the role of the media.