Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas Reuters

Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces have detained a prominent activist after he called for PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas to resign, The Associated Press reported Monday.

A lawyer representing Issa Amro, an activist from Hevron, said his client was arrested after posting his comments on Facebook.

In addition, according to AP, Ayman Qawasmi, a Palestinian Arab reporter, was arrested on Sunday after writing that Abbas should resign for “failing to protect the Palestinian people.”

Qawasmi’s radio station was closed last week by the IDF over its incitement to violence.

The arrests come amid an ongoing crackdown on journalists by the PA. In August, the PA introduced a controversial Electronic Crimes Law imposing tight controls on media freedom and banning online expression and dissent.

The PA insists the law was passed to combat electronic crimes and denies the purpose of the order was to abuse PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas's opponents.

Earlier this year, Abbas blocked at least eleven Palestinian Arab news websites, including the sites of the Palestinian Information Center and the Shehab News Agency, which is affiliated with Hamas, as well as the “Voice of Fatah”, which is known to be close to his longtime political rival, Mohammed Dahlan.

In 2012, Abbas also censored media outlets affiliated with his rivals. He subsequently ordered the censorship to be lifted after coming under fire for it.

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