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Palestinian jailed after insulting Abbas on facebook

By Mason White 1:35 PM February 11, 2013
Mahmoud Abbas kicking a soccer ball 

By: Shifra Unger
A man was jailed for insulting the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, according to press reports in Palestine.

A Palestinian court on Thursday sentenced the man, living in the West Bank, to a year in prison after he insulted the President in a comment he posted on facebook.

A court in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, sent Anas Said Awad, 26, from the nearby village of Awarta, to jail for posting a caption to a picture published with Abbas kicking a soccer ball saying “a new Real Madrid striker,” his father told the press.

“What my son wrote was not an insulting comment of the president,” Awad said, adding that his son was the Real Madrid. “It was part of comments exchanged among youth. He committed no crime,” he added.

Anas said that in the past he had been arrested several times by Palestinian security forces for attempting to join the militant group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, his father said.

His father said that the judge issued the sentence without calling Anas into the room, although he was waiting in another part of the building.

“I do not think there was anything offensive in this photo and I do not think that this was the reason behind the jail sentence,” he said, adding that Anas had been detained for two months in 2011 and questioned about security issues because of his links to Hamas.

His lawyer, Rima al-Sayed, told news reporters that his client had been convicted in absentia and that he would appeal.