Gaza reporter appeals prison sentence, fine

A Gaza journalist is appealing a six-month prison term and fine over her reporting on alleged corruption within the Hamas-run Health Ministry.

Hajar Harb appeared before a Hamas-run court on Tuesday, where the judge postponed the hearing until March.

Fathi Sabah, a journalist campaigning on her behalf, says it’s the first time Hamas authorities have sued a journalist for their work since the Islamic militant group seized Gaza by force in 2007.

Harb reported in 2016 that healthy people were paying doctors to help them circumvent the Israeli-Egyptian blockade by issuing medical referrals to hospitals abroad. She was sentenced and fined later that year.

On Monday, Amnesty International called Harb’s prosecution “an outrageous assault on media freedom.”

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