PA releases Palestinian blogger arrested last week

Ismat Abdel Khalik plans to hold press conference today to talk about her ordeal.

Palestinian Authority police 311 (R) (photo credit: Mohamad Torokman / Reuters)
Palestinian Authority police 311 (R)
(photo credit: Mohamad Torokman / Reuters)
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 ordeal.
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 conference.
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.
Adnan 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.