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Sunday, 28 November, 1999, 14:38 GMT
PALESTINIANS ARRESTED FOR CRITICISING SELF-RULE AUTHORITY



Four Palestinians are reported to have been arrested for putting their names to a statement accusing Yasser Arafat's self-rule authority of tyranny and corruption.

The four, who include a university professor and a physician, were among a group of twenty people who signed a petition accusing the Authority of exploiting the Palestinian people. Another two of the signatories, including the former mayor of Nablus, Bassam Shaka, have reportedly been placed under house arrest. The Palestinian Cabinet secretary Ahmed Abdel Rahmen defended the arrests, saying the men had strayed from the national path.

But the detentions were condemned by a member of Parliament and frequent critic of the Authority, Hossam Khader, who also signed the petition.

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