Custodial Sentence Against Reporter Hajjar Harb

2017-09-14 04:28


Journalist Support Committee stand in solidarity with reporter Hajjar Harb after sentencing to imprison her in absentia for her investigative reports

On Thursday, 14th of September 2017, the Journalist Support Committee expressed its full solidarity with reporter Hajjar Harb, Al-Masirah correspondent, after the court in Al-Soleh, Gaza, ruled in absentia a decision to imprison the female Palestinian journalist.

According to the ruling, the reporter is sentenced to a six-month imprisonment and a 284$ fine or equivalent over a media investigative report, conducted by the journalist more than a year ago about a corruption case in the Medical Referrals Department in the Ministry of Health, in Gaza Strip.

The reporter's lawyer, Mirvat Al-Nahal, reported that she was unaware of the trial session, knowing that the decision was issued more than three months ago on 4 Juin 2017, in a statement made by "MADA". The lawyer elaborated that the reporter faces three charges:

  1. Libel against the Referrals department in the Ministry of Health of Financial and administrative corruption.
  2. Publish news about the Ministry of Health without the accuracy/impartiality / non-substantive, which aroused hatred in the community.
  3. The Impersonation of others by claiming that her name is Mona Harb (her official name).

The Committee described in a statement the decision to imprison the reporter in her absence and away from hers and her lawyer's knowledge as unjust and a clear violation of freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of access to information and disseminate it, demanding the court to annul its decision.

It is worth mentioning that the reporter Hajjar Harb is currently diagnosed with cancer, and had to leave the Gaza Strip to the capital of Jordan, Amman, in order to receive treatment, and according to Article 403 of the Penal Code, the sentence should not be imposed on the reporter because of her health conditions, since she is currently abroad for treatment.


Journalist Support Committee - Palestine
14 September 2017