Photo Credit: Arab media
Osama Mansour

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas issued a presidential pardon on Wednesday, releasing officer Osama Mansour after a Ramallah military court sentenced him to a year in prison for publishing a Facebook post that was critical of Abbas. Abbas decreed that Mansour be retired from security forces instead of serving time in prison.

A PA military court in Ramallah sentenced Osama Mansour, a PA military liaison officer, to a year in prison and suspended his military rank for criticizing PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on social media for attending the Shimon Peres funeral, Ma’an reported.

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Mansour’s son said earlier that his father’s sentence was awaiting final approval from Abbas. Mansour was charged with “disobeying orders” after being detained on Oct. 1 for publishing a post on his Facebook page asking Abbas not to attend the funeral.

Mansour was director of public relations and media at the PA military liaison, the unit that coordinates security with Israel. In his post, he pointed out the irony of Abbas offering his condolences for Peres, “founder of settlement activity,” while condemning Israeli settlements.

“Whether (Peres) was a terrorist or not, whether he invented the policy of breaking bones during the First Intifada or not, whether he was involved in the Jenin refugee camp massacre, the massacre of the al-Yasmin neighborhood in [Shechem], or the massacre of Qana — who is he that you are going to partake in his funeral while the majority of the people you represent oppose him?” the post read.

“There should be no personal or friendly relations with the occupier, as long as they continue with their arrogant policies against our people,” declared the post by a PA official in charge of cooperation with Israel.

In August, NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report showing PA security forces had detained activists, including rap musicians, for criticizing the PA corruption and its security cooperation with Israel.

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