I lost hope in freedom of the press in Jordan a long time ago. I can’t remember exactly when but I think it goes back to my early twenties when I first joined the ranks of repressed Jordanian journalists. I have written about violations of press freedom on this blog many times, then I got tired of it. Until when, really? Things seem to be going from bad to worse.
From the whole fiasco of ATV to suing AmmanNet, I do not see any bright future for the press in Jordan. I decided to write about the most recent press violation, the sentencing of four journalists to prison, for two reasons.
- I find it ironic that after Jordan proudly announced that journalists would not be sent to jail, the trend continues using other legal artillery, the Penal Code rather than the Press and Publications Law.
- One of the journalists sentenced, Osama El Sherif, was my boss for my many years and was the one who trained me and taught me the tricks of the trade. What’s baffling in this case is that the journalists’ crime is publishing a news item "about a citizen who filed a motion with the Higher Judicial Council against the judges of the Higher Court of Justice, who had upheld a decision by the Civil Status and Passport Department depriving the plaintiff from his citizenship." Since when is reporting on a court case a crime in Jordan? I’m baffled.
Anyway, enough about this. Talking about press freedom in Jordan is simply pointless. There’s more on Lina’s blog.