Ashrawi expresses concern over arrests of journalists, bloggers


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi expressed concern over the recent arrests of Palestinian journalists and bloggers over comments critical of the Palestinian Authority.

"Freedom of expression and access to information is enshrined in the basic principles of the Palestinian Basic Law … it is unacceptable to detain journalists, bloggers or Palestinian activists," Ashrawi, who is also head of the PLO Department of Culture and Media, said in a statement, according to the Palestinian Ma’an news agency.

Ashrawi’s comments on Sunday came after reports of the arrests over the weekend of a Palestinian blogger who started a Facebook campaign called “The people want an end to corruption” and a Palestinian journalist who criticized the Palestinian Authority’s recent arrest of a female journalist and blogger.

In all, two journalists, an academic and at least one blogger have been arrested by Palestinian security forces for news reports and Facebook comments critical of the Palestinian Authority, Ma’an reported Monday.

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