A Palestinian man who clicked "Like" on a Facebook status criticising a Palestinian Authority (PA) official has been sentenced to six months in prison.
Anas Ismail, 29, of Salfit, near Nablus, was found guilty of "libel and slander." Ismail is the second Palestinian to be imprisoned for Facebook activities in the past few days.
He was sentenced to prison on the same day another PA court in Bethlehem sentenced a Palestinian journalist to one year in prison for sharing a photo on Facebook that compared PA President Mahmoud Abbas to a villain and spy of French colonial authorities in a Syrian drama.
The Palestinian Authority police on Friday night released another Palestinian, Mamdouh Hamamreh from prison, one day after he had been sentenced to one year in prison for insulting PA President Mahmoud Abbas on Facebook.
On Thursday, a PA court in Bethlehem upheld a one-year prison sentence imposed earlier on Hamamreh after convicting him of publishing a photo on Facebook comparing Abbas to a villain and traitor who appeared in a popular Syrian TV production.
Hamamreh was the second Palestinian to be imprisoned for insulting Abbas on Facebook since the beginning of this year.
In February, a PA court in Nablus sentenced 26-year-old Anas Awwad, a university student, to one year in prison for positing a photo depicting Abbas as a Real Madrid player. Awwad too was later pardoned by Abbas.
Earlier this year, Ayman Samarah, 40, of Jenin, was found dead in his prison cell after PA security forces prevented Palestinian journalists from covering the case.
The treatment of prisoners in Palestinian prisons is becoming increasingly concerning to human rights activists.
The mother of Karim Shaheen, who is being held in Jericho Prison, said that her son has been hospitalised after suffering from paralysis in in his left arm as a result of torture.
The family of another detainee, Baha Zahdeh, also accused the PA security forces of torturing their son, who is being held in the same prison on suspicion of membership in Hamas.
The Palestinian Authority is however, renowed for paying salaries to convicted terrorists serving time in Israeli prisons.
Norwegian authorities recently expressed their concern over the financial support for the Palestinian Authority and where the money given in aid is going.