Journalist gets one-year prison sentence, court says he 'slandered' Palestinian leader Abbas

Published March 28, 2013

| Associated Press

Two rights groups say a West Bank court has sentenced a Palestinian journalist to a year in prison for a Facebook page photo that portrays President Mahmoud Abbas as a traitor.

Abbas' Palestinian Authority has come under mounting criticism for stifling dissent. In particular, Abbas has been cracking down on the Islamic militant group Hamas.

The defendant in Thursday's ruling was Mamdouh Hamamreh, a reporter for the Hamas-linked Al-Quds TV.

Prosecutors say a photo montage on his Facebook page back in 2010 showed Abbas next to a TV villain. The villain was an informer for French colonial rulers and the photo caption read: "They're alike."

Hamamreh denied he posted the photo.

The groups Al-Haq and the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedom confirmed the ruling.

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