PA sentences journalist to three months in prison

Palestinian police in the West Bank city of Ramallah (Abbas Momani - AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  January 21, 2022

A Palestinian Authority court in Nablus yesterday issued a three-month imprisonment sentence against the journalist, Abdul Rahman Zaher, for “defaming the authority.”

Lawyers for Justice said in a statement that the verdict came after he was acquitted from charges of “disseminating information that incites racial strife on social media, as well as transmitting false news to cause panic.”

The rights group pointed out that Zaher was being tried on three charges that affect the essence of his professional work, and restrict freedom of opinion and expression. The ruling was laid down against him after more than 10 sessions in court.

The group noted that the conviction was reinforcing the restriction on Zaher’s freedom of work.

Zaher was arrested for 35 days at the Preventive Security Service in August 2020, during which time he had suffered from difficult health conditions. Days after his release, the occupation rearrested him, as part of a campaign against Palestinian journalists and interrogated him on the same charges he faced during his detention by the Preventive Security Service.

The Palestinian journalist works in the Media Centre of An-Najah University in Nablus, as a producer and presenter for various programs. He has held various positions, including manager of the media production at Watan Production Foundation, executive producer for the Jordanian “Roya”, and he also participated in many dramatic and theatrical works, documentaries and journalistic investigations.