Jordan: Release Wrongfully Detained Government Critics

Washington

In response to Jordan security services arresting at least 18 prominent activists because of their social media posts critical of government corruption, Freedom House released the following statement:
 
“The arrest by Jordan’s General Intelligence Directorate of activists including retired army generals and former members of parliament for their social media posts, violates the fundamental right to free speech,” said Dokhi Fassihian, senior program manager for Middle East and North Africa programs. “The decision to charge them with ‘incitement’ shows the government’s determination to muffle dissent and criticism.”

Background

Earlier this month, the General Intelligence Directorate arrested a group of activists including Maj. Gen. Mohamad al-Ottom, Wasfi Rawashdeh, Hussam al-Abdallat, other former government officials, and members of the teachers union for social media posts about government corruption. Those arrested were charged in the State Security Court for insulting Jordan’s King Abdullah and committing “incitement that would arouse the public opinion.”

Jordan is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2016, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2016, and Partly Free in Freedom on the Net 2016.

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