The picture published with this report earned Palestinian journalist Mamdouh Hamamreh one year in jail on charges of insulting President Mahmoud Abbas.
Hamamreh was charged by the Palestinian Magistrate’s Court of Fatah in Bethlehem over a photo posted on Facebook juxtaposing President Abbas besides a similar-looking man, Mamoun Baik, who plays the part of a collaborator with French colonial forces in an old Syrian television drama called Bab El-Hara. A caption was written on the image, saying: “They resemble each other in everything”.
Sources close to Hamamreh stated that image which appeared on his facebook page, had not been posted by him but by somebody who signed on the image as “TAG” and so it appeared on his facebook page. According to these sources, it was clear that somebody from the intelligence services of Fatah posted the picture on the facebook page of Mr. Hamamreh as a trap in order to have an excuse to jail him.
Hamamreh is a correspondent for the Al-Quds satellite channel, which is considered by Fatah (the political party of the regime) as media “hostile to the PA”. His jailing was for political reasons and based on a specious accusation.
In the occupied Palestinian territory, Fatah runs a “civilian” court under the PA and it is a state unto itself. The episode shows the kind of corruption inflicted on Palestinians by the Fatah with full support of the PA, a level of corruption until known only from the worst African dictatorial regimes.
The “civilian” courts of Fatah were established in order to circumvent the demands from western countries, which demanded that the PA prosecute civilians at civilian courts instead of military courts. For this reason, the Fatah party, the faction of the President and his regime, circumvent universal human rights laws, western countries demands and the Palestinian regulations and constitution. These so-called “civilian” Fatah courts are nothing but Kangaroo courts whose only purpose is to harass political opponents of the regime, their functioning is similar to the military courts.
Update: Now it has been reported that President Mahmoud Abbas has pardoned Hamamreh whose year-long sentence for insulting him on Facebook was upheld earlier Thursday.
Abbas’ office said in a statement that the president had pardoned Mamdouh Hamamreh, a correspondent for al-Quds satellite channel, hours after a Bethlehem court rejected the reporter’s appeal against the jail term
According to Reuters, Hamamreh is the second Palestinian journalist to be pardoned for insulting Abbas this year.
A court in the northern West Bank city of Nablus in February sentenced a local man to a year in prison for creating a picture of Abbas to make him look like a football player, and entitled it “the new striker for Real Madrid”. Anas Awad, 26, denied he had intended any offence and the president promptly pardoned him.