Palestinian Authority extends detention for Abbas critic
RAMALLAH - The Palestinian Authority has extended the detention of a prominent rights activist who criticised president Mahmud Abbas's administration, an NGO said Wednesday.
Issa Amro was detained on Monday by Palestinian security forces in the southern West Bank city of Hebron.
On Wednesday, his detention was extended for another 24 hours, while the prosecution called for him to be charged for "causing strife", Farid al-Atrash from the Independent Commission for Human Rights said.
Palestinian officials have not commented on the arrest.
Amro is the founder of Youth Against Settlements, a campaign group in the tense city of Hebron where Jewish settlers live in heavily guarded enclaves in the centre.
At the weekend, he criticised the Palestinian Authority's arrest of a journalist from Hebron on social media, leading to his arrest.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch both criticised the arrest.
"It is outrageous that a prominent human rights defender has been arrested simply for voicing his opinion online. Criticising the authorities should not be a criminal offence," said Magdalena Mughrabi, Amnesty's deputy director for the Middle East.
She said Amro's detention was the "latest evidence that the Palestinian authorities are determined to continue with their repressive campaign against free speech."
Separate to the Palestinian arrest, Amro is currently on trial by Israel on a range of charges dating back to 2010.
He has rejected all the charges, saying they are politically motivated to prevent his peaceful resistance to Israel's occupation.