Palestinians Release Activist

Palestinian security officials have released a Palestinian human rights activist who was detained after he criticized Yasser Arafat’s self-rule government.

Eyad Sarraj, who was released Sunday night after spending nine days in a Gaza City jail, said Monday that he planned to continue speaking out.

Sarraj, head of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizens Rights, was arrested May 18 after saying in an interview with The New York Times that Arafat’s Palestinian Authority was “corrupt, dictatorial and oppressive.”

He was freed after his family released a letter with his signature that disavowed the comments attributed to him.

Palestinian Attorney General Khaled Kidreh reportedly said Sarraj’s release was ordered by Arafat and that he still could be tried on charges of libel, incitement and harming the public interest.

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