Hamas breaks up literature festival in Gaza

Human rights group says armed men cut off power, took away cameras and dispersed event

Former Hamas prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh.  (photo credit: AP/Hatem Moussa)
Former Hamas prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh. (photo credit: AP/Hatem Moussa)

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A leading Palestinian human rights group has condemned the Gaza Strip’s Hamas government for violently breaking up a Palestinian literature festival.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights said Thursday that armed Hamas men cut off electricity, confiscated cameras and dispersed the event near Gaza City. Participants said that speakers at Wednesday night’s gathering had been critical of Hamas.

A number of Arab poets, writers and bloggers attended the conference. Among the participants was Alaa Abdel Fattah, a prominent Egyptian blogger who played a major role in last year’s uprising there.

Hamas officials declined to comment.

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