Jordan / Middle East & North Africa

Journalists attacked in Jordan since 1992

  
Relatives of Nahed Hattar carry signs condemning his murder during a protest in Amman in September 2016. The Jordanian commentator and writer was shot dead outside a court while on trial for blasphemy over a Facebook cartoon. (AP/Raad Adayleh)

Changes to Jordan’s hate speech law could further stifle press freedom

Recently proposed amendments to Jordan’s 2015 cybercrime law, including a vague and broad definition of hate speech, will further stifle press freedom on the pretext of protecting the country’s citizens, and could result in further self-censorship, several Jordanian journalists told CPJ.

Read More ›

The Qatar Airways office in Doha. Gulf countries imposed a ban on Qatari flights and many have announced penalties for those reporting critically on recent tensions with the country. (AFP/STR)

Amid Gulf tensions, press is used as a political pawn

Today Bahrain became the latest Gulf nation to put pressure on news outlets amid political tension, when its Interior Ministry announced that anyone publishing support or sympathy for Qatar faces up to five years in prison. The announcement came the day after the United Arab Emirates used the threat of prison to demarcate how journalists…

Read More ›

Election posters on a street in Amman. CPJ visited Jordan to review the press freedom situation ahead of the September 20 vote. (CPJ/Sherif Mansour)

Mission Journal: Gag orders make Jordan’s journalists skeptical of reform

Sitting uncomfortably in her chair because of a soccer injury, the Jordanian radio host Diala Dabbas said, “I know we are banned from talking about the king, his family, and the divine, but now I am also afraid to talk about anyone else who could be considered a ‘religious symbol’.”

Read More ›

Copies of Jordanian newspapers. During a CPJ mission there in February, the country's journalists said conditions for the press are deteriorating. (CPJ/Jason Stern)

Mission Journal: Rise in journalist arrests tarnishes Jordan’s image as reformist

The phone call came just as our conversation about the escalating crackdown on Jordanian media hit its stride. Lina Ejeilat, the co-founder of the news website 7iber (pronounced hebber), apologized and said she had to take the call. It was 7iber’s lawyer and it was important. For years the website had fought against a requirement…

Read More ›

Jordan’s free press record dims with website restrictions

Jordan’s press freedom climate, once a shining light in the Middle East, has quickly deteriorated as journalists grapple with last year’s government ban on nearly 300 news websites. Press freedom groups are documenting a rise in self-censorship and an increase in criminal cases against journalists. Local online news editors and journalists are complaining of economic…

Read More ›

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)

Arab journalists need training for civil unrest and wars

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.

Read More ›

CPJ had urged King Abdullah II to reconsider online restrictions. (Reuters/Ali Jarekji)

After outcry, Jordan rolls back repressive measures

Jordanian journalists succeeded this week in turning back some of the most repressive aspects of a new law on cyber crimes. The initial version of the law, approved by the cabinet of ministers on August 3, included broad restrictions on material deemed by the state to be defamatory or to involve national security. It also…

Read More ›

Journalists on raided flotilla leaving Israel, speaking out

Firsthand accounts from reporters who were on the flotilla of humanitarian activists raided by Israeli forces on Monday are finally coming out as the journalists are released from custody. These early reports indicate that soldiers harassed international journalists—at least six had their equipment either confiscated or destroyed, according to CPJ interviews and news reports. Media accounts have…

Read More ›

Jordan may extend repressive law to electronic media

Jordan’s Court of Cassation, the country’s highest judicial authority, issued an opinion last week stating that Web sites can be classified as “publications” and recommending that the Press and Publications Law be extended to online news sites and other electronic media. This decision, while not yet the law of the land, sets a legal precedent…

Read More ›

Defending al-Zaidi, but not journalists at home

The now infamous incident of Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi throwing his shoes at President George Bush became primetime news throughout the world. In the Middle East it has been shown on television almost endlessly. 

Read More ›