Palestinian sentenced to a year in jail for cursing President Mahmoud Abbas on Facebook

A Palestinian court has sentenced a West Bank man to a year in jail for “cursing the president” on Facebook.

The Magistrates Court of the city of Nablus sentenced Anas Awwad, 26, on Thursday.

His father says Awwad is being punished for a comment he made about a picture of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas kicking a soccer ball taken during his visit to Barcelona Football Club in 2011.

Awwad wrote “The new striker in Real Madrid.” His lawyer says he is appealing the decision.

Another Palestinian is on trial for the same charge. Nizar Banat, 33, posted: “I curse the president on every occasion for political reasons.”

Human Rights lawyer Fareed Al-Atrash said the Palestinian judiciary applied a Jordanian law that criminalizes cursing the King.