A man who criticized the Palestinian Authority leadership has been sentenced to
one year in prison, Palestinian sources said Wednesday.
According to the
sources, Anas Awwad, 26, a Palestinian from the village of Awarta, south of
Nablus, was found guilty of “extending his tongue” against the PA leadership and
“fomenting sedition and sectarian strife.”
Awwad’s father, Saed, said the
verdict was handed down by a PA Magistrate’s Court in Nablus.
sometimes uses a 50- year-old Jordanian law that bans “extending one’s tongue”
against the monarch to suppress critics.
The Palestinian news agency Safa
said that Awwad, a graduate of An-Najah University in Nablus, had been arrested
four times in the past by PA security forces in the West Bank.
Khater, a Palestinian journalist and writer, criticized the sentencing of the
young man. “I suggest that the Palestinian security forces also bring Yasser
Arafat to trial, since he too had criticized [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas,” she
Last year, the PA security forces arrested Palestinian blogger
Jamal Abu Rihan and also charged him with “extending his tongue” against the PA
Abu Rihan was arrested after he launched a Facebook campaign
titled, “The people want an end to corruption.”