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Eliminate Criminal Penalties for Online Defamation

(Amman) – Proposed amendments to Jordan’s 2015 Electronic Crimes Law would overly restrict freedom of expression by stipulating criminal penalties for posting “fake news” or engaging in “hate speech” online, Human Rights Watch said…
Jordanian parliament in session. © 2016 Sam McNeil/AP Images
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3-Year Sentence, Fine Violated Right to Free Expression

(Beirut) – The United Arab Emirates should immediately release Tayseer al-Najjar, a Jordanian journalist who, on December 13, 2018, completed a three-year prison sentence, Human Rights Watch and Reporters Without Borders said in a letter to the UAE…
MENA UAE Jordan Journalist Tayseer al-Najjar
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Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
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Canada’s Supreme Court on June 28, 2017 upheld a lower court’s injunction to require Google to delist web pages from a company that had been copying and selling a product belonging to Equustek Solutions Inc.. Google had already delisted all the company’s…
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3-Year Sentence for ‘Insulting State Symbols’ on Facebook

(Beirut) – A United Arab Emirates court sentenced a Jordanian journalist on March 15, 2017, to prison and a large fine for “insulting the state’s symbols,” Human Rights Watch said today. The sentence against Tayseer al-Najjar was related to Facebook posts…
MENA UAE Jordan Journalist Tayseer al-Najjar
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In recent years there has been a rapid expansion of the popularity and use of social networking internet sites such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and YouTube activity in the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman,…
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Newspaper Editor, Professor Arrested Over Peaceful Comments

(Amman) – Jordanian prosecutors have charged a newspaper editor and a university professor in separate cases for peacefully expressing their opinions. On August 18, 2015, a Jordanian prosecutor summoned Atef al-Jowlani, editor-in-chief of the daily…
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Prosecutors Use 2014 Reform Loopholes to Silence Critics

(Beirut) – Jordanian authorities have broken reform promises by arresting and charging activists for speech-related offenses. At least three activists were arrested in recent months and charged with speech-related offenses under vague terrorism…
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Arrests, Security Trials for Peaceful Criticism

(Amman) – Jordanian lawmakers should undertake critical reforms in 2014 to remove or amend laws that place impermissible limits on free expression, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2014. Jordanian officials prosecuted people during 2013…
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Regulation of Online Expression Undermines Reform Pledges

(Beirut) – Jordanian authorities should immediately rescind an order to censor 263 unlicensed local news websites. The government should also scrap recent legislation that allows it to encroach on online media freedom. The attempts to regulate online…
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Press Law Proposals Would Expand Content Restrictions

(Beirut) – A proposed law requiring electronic publications to obtain a license and granting executive authorities the power to close down unlicensed sites threatens freedom of expression online. The government on August 22, 2012, sent the draft…