PA arrests woman for criticizing Abbas on Facebook

PA arrests woman for criticizing Abbas on Facebook

Prosecutor calls comments by university lecturer defamatory

RAMALLAH (AP) — Rights activists say a Palestinian university lecturer has been detained on accusations that her Facebook page insulted President Mahmoud Abbas.

Hadeel Hneiti of the al-Haq rights group said Monday that Palestinian security forces arrested Ismat Abdul-Khaleq after they found writing on her Facebook page accusing Abbas of being a traitor and demanding he resign. Hneiti said the 37-year-old Abdul-Khaleq was taken into custody Wednesday.

Abdul-Khaleq’s detention is the latest in what activists say is growing intolerance of criticism. They say the government has been heavily monitoring Facebook.

A newspaper reporter has been held on suspicion of defamation since last week, and two other reporters were briefly interrogated last week over their writings.

The public prosecutor has said Abdul-Khaleq’s comments were defamatory.

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