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Facebook backs down over discrimination against Palestinian activists

Facebook has restored the account of a Palestinian user the social networking company had temporarily blocked over the posting of a letter written by a jailed activist.

Omar Nazzal had shared online a poignant letter penned by Palestinian politician Khalida Jarrar after she was barred by Israel from attending her daughter Suha’s funeral.

Written from her cell in Damon Prison, Haifa, on July 13, Jarrar’s message had reportedly been read out at the funeral of her daughter who had died of heart failure.

It said: “Suha came into the world while her father was in jail, and she is leaving the world while her mother is in jail. Suha, my precious. They have stripped me from bidding you a final goodbye kiss, so I bid you farewell with a flower.”

Jarrar, 58, has been arrested and imprisoned several times by Israel, often being held without charge in what the Israelis call administrative detention. She is currently serving a two-year administrative detention sentence.

Her letter was widely shared on social media but when Nazzal, a close friend of the Jarrar family, posted it on his personal Facebook page his account was suspended for two months for “violating Facebook’s community standards.”

The company restored Nazzal’s account five days later.

Facebook’s move was the latest in a line of incidents involving the tech giant censoring Palestinian-related content on its platforms. In May alone, more than 700 cases of digital rights violations took place against Palestinians on social media including the deletion of personal accounts, removal of posts, and suspension of the accounts of journalists and news agencies.

Source: Arab News

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