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April 1, 2013 11:00 am

Abbas Cracks Down on Journalists Despite Promises

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Mahmoud Abbas. Photo: World Economic Forum.

Times of Israel – Mahmoud Abbas’ government in the West Bank is getting tougher with critics, interrogating, prosecuting and even jailing several journalists and bloggers in recent months for allegedly “defaming” the Western-backed Palestinian leader.

Rights activists say the legal hassles are meant to silence dissent and that the campaign is intensifying despite promises to the contrary by Abbas. Targets of the crackdown include supporters of Abbas’ political rival — the Islamic militant Hamas — and political independents who have written about alleged nepotism and abuse of power in Abbas’s Palestinian Authority.

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