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Palestinian Woman Arrested For Alleged Facebook Insult

A Palestinian woman has been accused of insulting the country's president after allegedly posting defamatory remarks on her Facebook page. Detained for two weeks, the lecturer is being investigated into the supposed comments, with activists claiming the treatment to be part of the nation's stringent measures into tackling critical remarks made about the West Bank government.

Ismat Abdul-Khaleq was arrested last Wednesday, after Palestinian security officials discovered her accusing President Mahmoud Abbas of being a traitor as well as calling for his resignation on her Facebook page, stated lawyer Issam Abdeen from the Palestinian rights organisation al-Haq.

The university lecturer's arrest comes after a growing intolerance showed by Palestinian authorities in response to criticism made towards the government, resorting to spying on people's Facebook accounts in order to check on the opinions of the Palestinian citizens.

"We are genuinely concerned about tightening limits on freedom of expression and on the media," Abdeen said. "We don't want reporters to second-guess what they write on whether they will be punished or not."

Abdeen described the decision to detain Abdul-Khaleq as 'harsh', especially as she is a single mother of two. Criticising the president as well as other high-rank representatives is a criminal offence in Palestine.

"These expressions go beyond freedom of expression," said public prosecutor Ahmed al-Mughani.

Abdul-Khaleq has also been accused of labelling Abbas a 'traitor', claiming he partied with prostitutes on the graves of Palestinians - an accusation she strongly denies.

Source: The Huffington Post (opens in new tab)

Mariel Norton is a self-confessed girly geek with a penchant for technology, and previously wrote for ITProPortal, with experience on TheNextWeb, UKFast, WorldRemit, Virgin Media, Google, and more.