Columnist Jihad Harb was summoned on Wednesday for interrogation by the Head of Public Prosecutions, on a complaint filed against him by the Chief of Staff of the Palestinian presidency, on charges of libel and slander, and direct insults to the employees in the Office of the President, through an article he wrote about two months ago, the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms reported.
Jihad Harb was questioned about the article that was published in a number of Palestinian news sites, and told him that he was accused of libel and slander according to the Jordanian Penal Code that is in force in the Palestinian territories. MADA center attorney Raed Abdel-Hamid and a team of lawyers, jurists, and a representative of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, accompanied Harb during the interrogation.
The Head of the prosecution realized during the investigation that Harb is employed by the Palestinian Legislative Council, which means that the Attorney General must first issue permission to detain him. A request has been submitted to the AG, and Harb will remain free until the prosecution is officially permitted to pick him up for questioning again.
While Jihad Harb was interrogated inside, several journalists, human rights activists and representatives of civil institutions protested in solidarity with him in front of the Public Prosecution Office in Ramallah.