Amid calls for freedom of expression across the Arab world, authorities in the West Bank ordered an episode of a popular satirical show poking fun at Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi be censored.
Over the weekend, Palestine TV was scheduled to air an episode of the sketch show Watan ala Watar ("country hanging by a thread"), which has been receiving high ratings among West Bank TV viewers over the past two years.
The episode, which addressed the popular uprising in Libya and its eccentric leader Gaddafi, was censored by Fatah officials who claimed the show might put Palestinian refugees living in the North African country in danger.
Censored 'Gaddafi'- the Palestinian version
However, disappointed viewers did not sit idly by, and the show's Facebook page was immediately flooded with angry responses directed at the TV channel. "The people want to topple Palestine TV," wrote one furious viewer.
Sitcom creator Imad Farajin joined the protests and announced that he will not film any new episodes for the Palestinian channel. Farajin also said that he will examine the possibility of airing the show on competing satellite channels.
"The freedom of press was given to me so that I can criticize everything, including internal affairs in the Palestinian Authority and pan-Arab issues," he stated.
According to Farajin, the concern for Palestinian refugees in Libya is used as an excuse to prevent the show from airing. "This is the first time they blocked an episode since the show first aired two years ago. We will not be dictated by anyone," he added.
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