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Sunday May 6, 2012 0:18 AM (EST+7)
Abbas orders end to blocks on websites

Read more: Mahmoud Abbas, press freedom, freedom of expression, media, human rights, Muhammed Dahlan

RAMALLAH, May 5 (JMCC) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has ordered a halt to the blocking of several news websites linked to political rivals within his Fateh movement, reports the Jerusalem Post.

Nine websites were reported by Maan News Agency last week as having been blocked on order of the attorney general.

President Abbas has issued clear instructions to all the Palestinian national security forces to work ensure freedom of expression, which is a scared right in accordance with the [Palestinian] basic law, said a statement issued by Abbas's office in Ramallah.

His excellency has also instructed the attorney-general to lift a ban on all electronic websites and to halt any measure that contradicts freedom of media and information.

The statement quoted Abbas as urging to the media to be objective in covering events.

Abbas's decision came in response to sharp criticism from the US, EU and Western human rights organizations, a Western diplomat and PA officials told The Jerusalem Post.

They said that US and EU diplomats and government officials had contacted Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to voice their deep concern over the clampdown on freedom of expression in PA-controlled territories.

The PA minister of communications, Mashour Daka, resigned two weeks ago in protest against the decision to block eight websites.

The Palestinian Authority had also been criticized for a series of arrests of journalists and others.






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