Defend International protests to Jordanian authorities against the jail sentences imposed against five journalists for publishing offences.
Defend International condemns the intimidation of journalists in Jordan including the conviction of two editors and three journalists from the leading newspapers, Ad-Dustour, Al-Arab Al-Yawm and al-Al Rai, on March 13 for publishing offences.
The prosecution seriously damages the international reputation of Jordan. Moreover it raises a number of important human rights issues as the charges are in violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Jordan is a state party.
We respectfully call on the Jordanian authorities to do everything in their considerable power to ensure that all charges are dropped. We urge them to take concrete steps to ensure that defamation is decriminalised in Jordan as soon as possible and replaced with appropriate civil defamation laws.
In addition Defend International urges the Jordanian authorities to support independent journalists, and ensure that journalists are able to carry out their activities freely, in safety and without any hindrances or fear of harassment which undermine freedom of expression, independent journalism and the free flow of information to the public.