Prosecution a Blow to Kingdom’s Reform Efforts
April 25, 2012
"(Beirut) – The charges by Jordan’s military prosecutor against a journalist and publisher of a news website apparently violate their free speech rights, Human Rights Watch said today. The two were charged on April 23, 2012, with “subverting the system of government” for an article concerning the king’s supposed intervention in a corruption investigation.
The case is the fifth time in 2012 that peaceful critics have faced charges for speech offenses, a pattern that undermines the credibility of Jordan’s reform efforts, Human Rights Watch said.
“Jordan cannot claim to be making democratic reforms while prosecutors hunt down journalists doing their job,” said Christoph Wilcke, senior Middle East researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Jordan’s parliament should eliminate penal code articles that punish nonviolent speech offenses, and in the meantime, authorities should instruct prosecutors to stop bringing charges under those articles.”....."