UN Special Coordinator Slams PA for Blocking News Sites

The United Nations (UN) Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process yesterday criticized the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s recent decision to block a number of websites and social media platforms.

Nickolay Mladenov told reporters that he was disturbed by the Ramallah court decision on October 17 to block 50 Palestinian and Arabic websites, as well as the social network Facebook.

Mladenov said:

The fundamental right of freedom of opinion and expression, as well as the freedoms associated with free access to information, are of utter importance and must be protected.

Earlier this month, the PA’s attorney general issued a verdict to block 59 Arabic and Palestinian websites, accusing the social platforms of spreading criticism against the PA officials.

Headed by judge Mohammed Hussein, the court’s decision claimed that such sites which publish pictures and articles threaten Palestinian national security and civil peace, as well as disrupt public order and morals, and arouse Palestinian public opinion.

Source: Palestine Chronicle