Monday, January 30, 2012

Intolerance in the West Bank; crackdown on those "not Muslim enough"

And I thought the PA were the "moderates" among the leaders of the refugees.

From Google January 29 by Diaa Hadid

Climate of intolerance in West Bank, activists say

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — A Palestinian atheist who was jailed and beaten last year for expressing anti-Muslim views on Facebook and in blogs says Palestinian security forces are harassing him again, despite government pledges to respect human rights.
The blogger's renewed ordeal is part of a persistent climate of intolerance of dissent in the territories controlled by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, say human rights activists. They say they've seen improvements, including a marked decrease in the mistreatment of detainees, but that Abbas' security forces, who are partially funded by the West, must halt harassment and arbitrary detention.
Government spokesman Ghassan Khatib acknowledged occasional lapses, but said that in the past two years, "there's been great progress and success in reducing abuses."
Such promises mean little to atheist blogger Walid Husayin, who has lived in fear of the security forces since being released from a nine-month prison stint last summer.
"I'm sick and tired. My life has come to a halt," the 28-year-old Husayin said in a phone interview from his home in the northern West Bank town of Qalqiliya.
Since his release on bail, he has been picked up several times by security agents and held for days at a time. In one of those detentions, he was beaten with cables and forced to stand in a painful position on empty cans, said Husayin, the son of a Muslim preacher. Interrogators smashed his two computers and demanded that he stop expressing his views, he said.
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