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Switch to Forum Live View Abbas's Police State
3 years ago  ::  May 01, 2012 - 9:38AM #1
rocketjsquirell
Posts: 16,605

Does anyone see a problem with this?



Abbas's Police State
The Palestinian Authority is taking aggressive new measures to squelch dissent -- and the White House is missing in action.

President Barack Obama's administration has loudly touted its efforts to protect peaceful activists across the globe from regimes that would oppress them. On April 26, the White House issued an executive order to stop technology companies from helping Iran and Syria commit human rights abuses. The two countries have become what members of Congress have called "zones of electronic repression," where the regimes use modern technologies to crush those seeking democratic reforms.
But amid all this, Obama is missing an opportunity to promote positive change in a government over which the United States has much more leverage: Mahmoud Abbas's increasingly repressive fiefdom in the West Bank. On the same day as the White House issued its executive order, the Palestinian Ma'an News Agency reported an explosive story detailing how Palestinian officials have "quietly instructed Internet providers to block access to news websites whose reporting is critical of President Mahmoud Abbas."
. . .
These and other incidents have had a chilling effect on reporting. As former Palestinian intelligence official Fahmi Shabaneh remarked in 2010, "al-Jazeera and other Arab media outlets... are afraid to publish anything that angers the Palestinian Authority."

Amid such accounts, in April 2011, Human Rights Watch issued a 35-page report titled "No News is Good News: Abuses Against Journalists by Palestinian Security Forces." It revealed that Palestinian journalists in the West Bank "have had their equipment confiscated and been arbitrarily detained, barred from traveling abroad, assaulted, and in one case, tortured, by Palestinian security services."
. . .
It appears that the PA has not only quashed critical voices through official channels, but at times has also resorted to using extrajudicial means. On Jan. 28, hackers took down InLightPress, a website that alleged that Abbas had ordered his security forces to tap his political opponents' phones. When InLightPress returned online, its editors claimed the cyber attack "came from the Palestinian Authority with the approval of President Abbas." The site further alleged that Abbas had created a "crisis cell" headed by Sabri Saidam, former head of the PA's ministry of telecommunications and information technology, to coordinate the attack.

A week later, on Feb. 3, InLightPress was hacked again. When it returned, its editors stated , "[W]e now know who [the hackers] are, and why they did it, and they know that we will not stop." In defiance, the site continued to publish scathing criticism of Abbas. In response, the Palestinian leadership blocked access to InLightPress in the territories.
. . .
 full artticle:

www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/04/3...

Moderated by Merope on May 02, 2012 - 11:52PM
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3 years ago  ::  May 03, 2012 - 11:25PM #2
JAstor
Posts: 3,957

May 1, 2012 -- 9:38AM, rocketjsquirell wrote:


Does anyone see a problem with this?



Abbas's Police State
The Palestinian Authority is taking aggressive new measures to squelch dissent -- and the White House is missing in action.

President Barack Obama's administration has loudly touted its efforts to protect peaceful activists across the globe from regimes that would oppress them. On April 26, the White House issued an executive order to stop technology companies from helping Iran and Syria commit human rights abuses. The two countries have become what members of Congress have called "zones of electronic repression," where the regimes use modern technologies to crush those seeking democratic reforms.
But amid all this, Obama is missing an opportunity to promote positive change in a government over which the United States has much more leverage: Mahmoud Abbas's increasingly repressive fiefdom in the West Bank. On the same day as the White House issued its executive order, the Palestinian Ma'an News Agency reported an explosive story detailing how Palestinian officials have "quietly instructed Internet providers to block access to news websites whose reporting is critical of President Mahmoud Abbas."
. . .
These and other incidents have had a chilling effect on reporting. As former Palestinian intelligence official Fahmi Shabaneh remarked in 2010, "al-Jazeera and other Arab media outlets... are afraid to publish anything that angers the Palestinian Authority."

Amid such accounts, in April 2011, Human Rights Watch issued a 35-page report titled "No News is Good News: Abuses Against Journalists by Palestinian Security Forces." It revealed that Palestinian journalists in the West Bank "have had their equipment confiscated and been arbitrarily detained, barred from traveling abroad, assaulted, and in one case, tortured, by Palestinian security services."
. . .
It appears that the PA has not only quashed critical voices through official channels, but at times has also resorted to using extrajudicial means. On Jan. 28, hackers took down InLightPress, a website that alleged that Abbas had ordered his security forces to tap his political opponents' phones. When InLightPress returned online, its editors claimed the cyber attack "came from the Palestinian Authority with the approval of President Abbas." The site further alleged that Abbas had created a "crisis cell" headed by Sabri Saidam, former head of the PA's ministry of telecommunications and information technology, to coordinate the attack.

A week later, on Feb. 3, InLightPress was hacked again. When it returned, its editors stated , "[W]e now know who [the hackers] are, and why they did it, and they know that we will not stop." In defiance, the site continued to publish scathing criticism of Abbas. In response, the Palestinian leadership blocked access to InLightPress in the territories.
. . .
 full artticle:

www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/04/3...




As Ken says we shouldn't be surprised when barbarians act like barbarians. We shouldn't be surprised when PA autocrats act like PA autocrats. 

Moderated by Miraj on May 04, 2012 - 12:45AM
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3 years ago  ::  May 05, 2012 - 5:11PM #3
rocketjsquirell
Posts: 16,605

Just an update. Looks like Abu Mazen had to throw in the towel on this one. Seems even tyrants can be influenced by public pressure.

Abbas orders end to Internet crackdown
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
05/05/2012 19:55
PA president lifts censorship of websites critical of him after public outcry; sites believed to be supported by Dahlan.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Saturday instructed the PA attorney-general to stop the crackdown on freedom of expression and media and to stop blocking websites.

The decision came following widespread criticism of the PA leadership's recent clampdown on journalists and bloggers in the West Bank.

At least nine Palestinian journalists, bloggers and anti-corruption activists have been arrested by PA security forces in the West Bank in the past two months.

On the instructions of the PA attorney-general, several websites that were critical of Abbas were blocked by internet providers.
. . .
Most of the Palestinian journalists and bloggers who were arrested during the crackdown were accused of "extending their tongues" against Abbas and top PA officials.

One of them Yousef al-Shayeb, was arrested for exposing a corruption scandal in the PA foreign ministry.

Esmat Abdel Khalik, a female university lecturer and journalist, was arrested after friend posted on her Facebook page a comment that denounced Abbas as a "traitor and fascist."

Blogger Jamal Abu Rihan was arrested after creating a Facebook group called "The people want an end to corruption."

full article:
www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id...



www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id...

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3 years ago  ::  May 10, 2012 - 8:56PM #4
rocketjsquirell
Posts: 16,605

The PA restricitions on the press are expanding yet again

Palestinian news group blocks Israeli contact
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
05/11/2012 01:47
A Palestinian journalist group forbids its members from meeting with their Israeli counterparts.
Any Palestinian journalists who meet with Israeli colleagues will be expelled from the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate in the West Bank, the group warned on Thursday.

The warning followed a meeting that took place last week between Israeli and Palestinian journalists on the occasion of World Free Press Day.
. . .

full article:
www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id...

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