PA forces arrest Palestinian cartoonist

Arrest of Hassan Abadi from Nablus comes amid wave of arrests critics say is a PA crackdown on freedom speech in the West Bank.

April 22, 2012 13:48
PALESTINIAN SECURITY forces in the West Bank. IDF

PA Security Forces 311. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)


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Palestinian Authority security forces arrested over the weekend a Palestinian cartoonist on charges of "fanning racial prejudices."

The arrest of the cartoonist, Hassan Abadi, from Nablus, is seen by Palestinian journalists and human rights groups in the context of an ongoing PA crackdown on freedom of speech and media in the West Bank.

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In recent weeks the PA's Preventive Security Service arrested five journalists and bloggers for exposing corruption and posting critical comments on Facebook.

Abadi, who studies art at An-Najah University, is famous for his cartoons that depict Arab leaders as blood-thirsty dictators and mock at Arab "submission" to the US and Israel. His cartoons are also very critical of Israel, whom he accuses through his drawings of seeking to destroy the Aksa Mosque.

A PA security official in nobles refused to elaborate on the accusations against Abadi. However, the official pointed out that the cartoonist was being charged under a 1960 Jordanian law that bans "fanning racial prejudices."

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