Libel Law Extended for Palestine Press

A measure has been incorporated in the Draft Ordinances here which represents not so much a censorship of the press as the desire on the part of the administration to prevent trouble. The sore spot is the Arab press which takes little or no pains to hide the emotions of an often difficult editor. Foreign potentates, particularly those ruling neighboring countries in the Near East, have been reviled by Moslem newspaper men much too often for administration circles not to take notice.

The new libel law provides penalties for the publication of “matter tending to degrade, revile or expose any prince, ruler, potentate, ambassador or other dignitary of any state or territory other than Palestine.” If the published matter disturbs the peace, the publisher is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or to a fine of a hundred pounds, or both.

Conditions which might mitigate lamages include public need, judicial proceedings, legal, moral or social duty or legitimate interest on the part of a particular person.

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