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Jordan


Although Jordanian journalists continued to enjoy greater freedom than most of their regional colleagues, that freedom was nonetheless restricted. The government continued its attempt to control the online media as it already controls traditional media. As CPJ had warned last year, the Jordanian government used the amended Press and Publications Law to block hundreds of websites that had failed to register with the government, despite protests by local journalists and promises by government officials to discuss amending the law. The country also ranked below the regional average in Internet use. The government maintained its long-standing practice of restricting coverage of sensitive issues, including local protests and the royal family. At the same time, Jordan opened its doors to numerous international journalists covering the massive influx of Syrian refugees into the country.

Journalists ride in an army soldiers' carrier to the front line during clashes between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and opposition fighters on August 24, 2013. (Reuters/Khaled al-Hariri)

In recent years, Arab journalists have been taking great risks to report important stories in a region where war and civil unrest remain an ever-present threat. Many are operating without proper equipment or safety training in how to recognize and mitigate the various risks they face.

New York, December 4, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release today of a reporter working for Al-Arabiya news channel who, along with two crewmembers, was abducted by Islamist militants 18 months ago.

Dear Prime Minister Ensour: We are writing to express our concern about the implications of Jordan's Press and Publications Law, which was amended last year and used most recently to block more than 300 websites.

New York, June 3, 2013--The Jordanian government announced plans on Sunday to block more than 300 websites for failing to register under the Press and Publications Law, news sources reported. Access to several of the sites has already been blocked within the country, the reports said.

Although Jordanian news media enjoy greater freedom than the press in many other Arab countries, the kingdom took a significant step backward with the approval of amendments to the Press and Publications Law in September 2012. The law imposed new restrictions on online news content, required sites to obtain official licenses, and gave the authorities powers to block domestic and international websites. Journalists, outraged by the move, protested against the government, and website owners refused to apply for licenses. Criticism of the royal family or the monarchy remained off-limits for all media. One journalist was detained for three weeks for writing an article that alleged misconduct in the Royal Court, and a critical blogger was stabbed by an unidentified assailant after she published an article criticizing Prince Hassan bin Talal.

New York, August 31, 2012--Proposed legislation in Jordan would impose significant new restrictions on online news content and reader comments while giving authorities new powers to block domestic and international websites. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the lower house of parliament to reject the bill when it takes up debate on Sunday.

New York, April 25, 2012--Jordanian journalist Jamal al-Muhtaseb has been detained since Monday on antistate charges after publishing an article alleging misconduct by the Royal Court, according to news reports. Al-Muhtaseb's sister, the author of the article, was also arrested but was released the same day, news reports said.

New York, February 29, 2012--Jordan authorities must undertake a serious investigation into the stabbing of a blogger who wrote critically about the Jordanian royal family, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Photographers take cover during November protests in Tahrir Square. (AFP/Mahmud Hams)

The Middle East's political shifts changed conditions for journalists dramatically. The emerging trends favor free expression, but are filled with ambiguity and depend on the political configurations to emerge after the revolutionary dust has settled. By Mohamed Abdel Dayem

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Attacks on the Press 2012

400 News websites that must register with the government under new legislation.

Country data, analysis »

Contact

Middle East
and North Africa

Program Coordinator:
Sherif Mansour

Research Associate:
Jason Stern

smansour@cpj.org
jstern@cpj.org

Tel: +1 (212) 300-9018,
+1 (212) 300-9017
Fax: 212-465-9568

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فيسبوك : لجنة حماية الصحفيين بالعربية

Blog: Sherif Mansour
Blog: Jason Stern