Palestinian reporter jailed for Facebook insult

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Ismat Abdul-Khaleq, 37, was arrested Wednesday for alleged defamatory comments about Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. 

A Palestinian lecturer and reporter has been detained because of critical comments she allegedly made about President Mahmoud Abbas on Facebook.

Ismat Abdul-Khaleq, 37, was arrested Wednesday by Palestinian security forces after she went on Facebook and apparently called Abbas a traitor and demanded he resign, reported the Associated Press. (The Daily Dot was unable to find Abdul-Khaleq’s Facebook page.)

Abbas has been the president of the Palestinian National Authority since 2005 and the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) since 2004. Abbas stirred up controversy in 2009 when he extended his presidency past its deadline. The unilateral move upset Hamas, the Palestinian Sunni Islamic political party, which vehemently rejects his role as president.

News of Abdul-Khaleq’s arrest has spread on Twitter, where journalist Asa Winstanley lent his support.

“I call for the overthrow of the Palestinian Authority and Mahmoud Abbas,” Winstanley tweeted. “I am a journalist. I am in Ramallah. Let them come get me too.”

Abdul-Khaleq’s social network-related arrest is one of many in the last two months to rock the Middle East. At least two different men have been arrested or detained for tweets they made against the prophet Muhammad.

Photo by west.m

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