Palestinian charged with insulting leader online

A Palestinian reporter said he`s been accused of insulting a public figure.

Last Updated: Jan 22, 2011, 21:03 PM IST

Ramallah (West Bank): A Palestinian reporter
tagged in a Facebook image that mocked the president says he`s
been accused of insulting a public figure.

Mamdouh Hamamreh of al-Quds TV said on Saturday that his
prosecutors have set his first court date for next month.

He was detained for a few weeks by security just hours
after the image allegedly ridiculing President Mahmoud Abbas
appeared on his Facebook page in September.

His TV station is sympathetic to the militant Islamic
group Hamas, the chief rival to Abbas` Palestinian Authority.

The incident highlights how Abbas` forces are using
social networks to crack down on dissent.

A Palestinian government spokesman maintains residents
have ``lots`` of free speech.

PTI