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Hamas official says paper banned for

BBC Monitoring

Text of report in English by independent, non-governmental Palestinian Ma'an News Agency website

Gaza, 12 February: Distribution of the Palestinian newspaper Al-Ayyam in the Gaza Strip will be banned starting Tuesday by the order of a Hamas-affiliated court. The magistrate court affiliated to the Hamas-run de facto government issued an order on 6 February banning the distribution and printing of Al-Ayyam daily newspaper in the Gaza Strip.

The assistant undersecretary of the Palestinian Information Ministry in the de facto government, Hasan Abu Hashish said that the decision to ban Al-Ayyam newspaper came from the general prosecution and judiciary after the newspaper published a cartoon mocking the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC.) Abu Hashish claims this violates the Palestinian press law of 1995. The PLC has filed a lawsuit according to the Palestinian law. The court also ruled that the newspaper's chief editor, Akram Haniyah, and the cartoonist Al-Bukhari should be jailed for six months.

Source: Ma'an News Agency website, ! Bethlehem, in English 1237 gmt 12 Feb 08


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