Palestinian Security Forces begin arresting children for Facebook posts

On Wednesday, the Palestinian Security Forces arrested 16-year-old Amir Taha Muhammad Abu Sharar due to a Facebook post. Abu Sharar, a resident of Afqish village, southwest of Dura in Hebron, was arrested by the security forces in a workshop where he was training in car mechanics. Abu Shahrar, a diabetic, was taken to one of its security headquarters and held for several hours until his mother promised to close her son’s Facebook account and the young man promised to refrain from posting on social media. His offense was a post he made during the conflict in Israel last month though no details are known concerning the nature of the post.

According to the Euro Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, at least 60 people have been arrested or detained in the past month by the Palestinian Authority under its “Cybercrime Law.” The law violates international laws, most particularly the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. There are reports that some of those arrested were subject to torture and abuse in Jericho Prison.

The organization released a statement calling on the PA to refrain from this policy:

“The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor calls on the Palestinian government to undertake immediate actions to ensure the prevention of abuse practiced by the security services, stop arrests on political grounds or for expressing opinions, back down from pressures and threats against individuals, allow civilians to exercise their right to expression and hold those responsible for violations against children accountable.”

Israel in the News