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26 year old boy is sentenced to a year in Palestinian prison after insulting President Abbas

Headline: Following Ma’an’s Publication – the President Will Pardon Anas Awwad


(i.e., 26-year-old sentenced by PA court to a year in jail for cursing Abbas on Facebook. He commented on a photo of Abbas kicking a football on visit to Barcelona in 2011.)


“Presidential Legal Advisor, Hassan Al-Ouri, emphasized that Anas Awwad’s sentence was not final and could be appealed, and that when the final sentence is given the President [Abbas] will pardon him. In an interview to Ma’an he added that the President had felt uncomfortable when the matter was brought to his attention and made it clear that the President did not file any complaint against him and that it was representatives of the Public Prosecutor’s Office who complained against the young man.


Ma’an published the story this afternoon [Feb. 7, 2013] as follows:


“Bethlehem magistrates court published its sentence, in absentia of the [defendant], sentencing the young man from the Awarta village in eastern Nablus to a year in prison under the Insolence Towards a Senior Official clause. Khalil Assaf, director of the Public Freedoms committee within the Palestinian Reconciliation committee said to Ma’an’s correspondent that the court sentenced the young man, Anas Awwad, 26, to a year in prison under the clause of ‘insolence’ towards President Abbas, and said: “The very sentence against this young man is damaging to the President since President Abbas is much greater than this.” Likewise he added that basically, to the best of his knowledge, there is no ‘insolence against a senior official law’ and therefore called the court to abrogate the ruling.

The young man’s father, Saad Awwad told Ma’an’s correspondent: “The court sentenced my son to a year in prison. My son was waiting for the decision regarding his teaching assignment after graduating from university and receiving a BA in education.” Likewise he said: “My son only made a comment on the Facebook social media site, and you know the young people’s comments. He had no intention of cursing or harming President Mahmoud Abbas, and I’m asking the President to personally interfere and abrogate the court’s decision.”

He added: “My son was arrested in 2011 by the Nablus intelligence apparatus on these same charges and was bailed out for the sum of 1,000 Dinars for a month and afterwards the matter was resubmitted to the courts and the sentence was published today.”

Rima Al-Sayyed, the young man’s attorney, said to Ma’an’s correspondent: “I cannot under any circumstances comment about the matter at the moment. All I can say is that the sentence was published in absentia of the defendant and the decision is not final and it’s [possible to] appeal.”

To Ma’an’s question about the young man’s exact actions lawyer Al-Sayyed said: “He dressed the President up in Facebook in Real Madrid uniforms and wrote: ‘[Real Madrid’s] new forward.”


(A similar article was published on the Al-Quds website on Feb. 7 including the father’s full interview in which he said that his son belongs to Hamas and has been arrested several times since 2007 under different charges. Likewise he said that the sentence was published in absentia of his son although he was in the court’s courtyard at the time. In addition, the father said that he tried to obtain the document of the court’s ruling several times but the court claimed that the document was not ready and he fears that he will not be able to submit the appeal on time and the sentence will become final. –PMW Ed.)

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