AP Exclusive: Jailed Palestinian atheist apologizes

December 6, 2010 16:23


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JERUSALEM — A Palestinian atheist jailed for more than a month for sharing his views in a blog has apologized for offending Muslims, in a step he hopes will lead to his release.

International rights groups have criticized his arrest as a demonstration of the limits on free speech under the Western-backed Palestinian Authority.

The 26-year-old, Walid Husayin, apologized in a letter to his family and sought forgiveness for what he called his "stupidity."

Palestinian military police arrested Husayin on Oct. 31 after he posted comments deemed offensive to Islam on his blog. Offending Islam is a crime in the West Bank.

A friend says Husayin posted the letter on his blog last week in hopes of winning release. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

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