The UN news agency IRIN published an article about the skepticism Jordanian journalists have expressed over the government promise to stop jailing members of the press.
Local media figures express skepticism over government assurances that a clause in a new Press Law, which allows the imprisonment of journalists for publications offenses, will be removed. "This sounds like propaganda by the regime," said Nidal Mansour, head of the Amman-based Center for Defending the Freedom of Journalists and publisher of independent weekly Al-Hadath. "The government usually makes promises about new laws, but then –- at the very last moment –- comes up with unpleasant surprises."
Last week, Jordan Press Association President Tareq Momani received assurances from Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit that a clear-cut provision prohibiting jail-time for press offenses would be included in the new Press and Publications Law. The new legislation is part of the so-called "National Agenda," a wide-ranging blueprint for economic and political reform, the implementation of which has become a government priority. Source: [IRIN]
The question now is whatever happened to the National Agenda and its promises of political and economic reform? It seems it has been put on hold for the time being. After all, the Jordanian government is too preoccupied nowadays with the Hamas controversy, which continues to snowball, to worry about the demands of journalists.
I followed your link to “Jordan Links Arrests to Hamas Official” which in turn had a link to Islamist Political organizations in Jordan. The article made it clear that the political Islamists’ long term objective was a theocratic state in Jordan.
IYO, what is the risk of such an event should Jordan allow freer parlimentary elections? How great is the popular support in Jordan for such a movement?
I think that the main issue is the citizen in general, rathar than the journalist in particular. If people can say what they want to say, and express their opinion on different issues; whether thru writing, or different kinds of media, then the journalist doesnt have to fear imprisonment, and a law doesnt have to be made to protect him. If the citizen is protected, the journalist is. I believe both are not immune from the harrassment