Palestinian Attorney General Ahmad Al Mughani announced a ban on a TV series that has been airing since the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan on the grounds that it insults public figures.
According to Mr. Mughani, the TV series “Watan ala Watar “(A Homeland on a String), produced by and aired on Palestinian TV, features a superficial script that focuses on insulting people and disrespecting Palestinian society.
“However, we always reiterate our respect for freedom of expression,” Mr. Mughani added.
Emad Farajin, the lead actor in the series, expressed his indignation at the ban on his page in the social networking website Facebook.
“To all the honorable people of Palestine, to all those we addressed in the diaspora, inside Palestine, and in refugee camps, to my brothers in Gaza, to all those who want to fight corruption, to the revolutionaries of the Arab world… the attorney general banned A Homeland on a String,” he wrote.
Mr. Farajin expressed his disappointment on hearing of the ban, which he called shameful, and called upon the Palestinian government to save their efforts for more important issues.
“Let them go stop the construction of settlements instead of stopping the series,” he added in the same statement.
The actor stressed that the ban is not going to stop him and announced that he will upload the episodes to the video sharing website You Tube and even screen them in the streets so that all Palestinians can watch them.
Actress Manal Awad described the ban as a serious blow to Palestinian democracy.
“We can disagree and we can argue, but silencing those who disagree with you is unacceptable.”
Ms. Awad explained that the issue is not this series in particular, but the precedent this ban is bound to set in the future.
“We don’t want the principle of ‘if you’re not with me then you’re against me’ to prevail,” she added.
The series, which started airing its third season on the first day of Ramadan, has been stirring much controversy and many lawsuits were filed against it for making fun of several Palestinian factions and openly criticizing a lot of public figures in the Palestinian Authority.
Three actors and one actress star in the series and are also its writers. Each episode tackles a specific issue that relates to Palestinian politics or society in a sarcastically critical manner.
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)