CPJ urges Jordan to drop charges against regional press freedom group

His Excellency Judge Mohamed Said al-Sharaideh
Attorney General’s Office
Suleiman Al Nabulsi Street, Abdali Area
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Via Fax: +96205622248

Dear Mr. al-Sharaideh,

We at the Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent, international press freedom organization, are writing to urge you to drop an investigation into the regional press freedom group, the Center for Defending Freedom of Journalists (CDFJ), and its founder and head Nidal Mansour.

On September 10, 2017, the head of a Jordanian trade regulatory body, Ramsi Nozha, publicly accused the Center for Defending Freedom of Journalists of failing to properly register as a nonprofit organization. As part of these accusations, Nozha said the center should stop receiving all funding due to the alleged registration discrepancy, and threatened to cancel the center’s legal status if the group violates this order.

Nozha then referred the case to you, Your Excellency, a formality that allows you to begin legal processes against the group that could result in interrogation, arrest, or trial. The media watchdog has denied the accusations. We ask that you dismiss the case on the grounds that the charges against the Center for Defending Freedom of Journalists are in retaliation for the organization’s advocacy work.

The Center for Defending Freedom of Journalists has published six reports that chronicle a rise in government censorship in Jordan and criticized the government for failing to deliver on their 2013 pledges, under the United Nations’ Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodical Review, to uphold press freedom, in particular with regard to online publications.

Dropping the investigation against the Center for Defending Freedom of Journalists and Mansour would be a sign of your country’s commitment to press freedom.

Thank you in advance to your attention to this urgent matter.


Courtney Radsch

Advocacy Director