Five Jordanian journalists have been sentenced to three months in prison each, in two separate cases, for breaking the law in their country. Jordan's bloggers speak up against this latest crackdown on freedom of expression.
According to the International Freedom of Expression Exchange, “two of Jordan's main daily newspapers, “Ad-Dustour” and “Al Arab Al Yawm”, were found in contempt of the judiciary for publishing a news item about a lawsuit filed by a Jordanian against a judges’ decision to deprive him of his citizenship” in the first case. In the second, a satirical writer's article about the Higher Media Council was considered slanderous by the court.
Writing at the Black Iris of Jordan, Naseem Tarawnah asks:
When HM King Abdullah said some time ago that “the sky is the limit” when it comes to press freedoms, I don’t think this is what he had in mind.
What more can I say?
Mental Mayhem is outraged with the situation and writes:
I lost hope in freedom of the press in Jordan a long time ago. I can't remember exactly when but I think it goes back to my early twenties when I first joined the ranks of repressed Jordanian journalists. I have written about violations of press freedom on this blog many times, then I got tired of it. Until when, really? Things seem to be going from bad to worse.
She further adds:
Since when is reporting on a court case a crime in Jordan? I'm baffled.
Lina Ejeilat asks the following questions too:
So it's against the law for the press to debate court rulings. But I'm a bit confused as to what this exactly entails. Don’t we criticize reduced sentences in so-called honor crimes all the time? Is that against the law?
Of course, we all want to be living in a country where no one is above the law, but that doesn’t mean the law is perfect the way it is and cannot be scrutinized. Commenting on the law or criticizing it, and abiding by it are not mutually exclusive.