The recent decision by the Jordanian government to ban all media content relating to an alleged plot involving former Crown Prince Hamzah is a disturbing abuse of free speech and denial of Jordanian citizens their human right to Freedom of Information.
On April 6th, Jordan’s public prosecutor banned the publication of any information about tensions between King Abdullah II and former Crown Prince Hamzah, his half brother; state television reported on Tuesday.
“In order to keep the security services’ investigation into Prince Hamzah and the others secret, (it is decided) to ban the publication of anything related to this inquiry at this stage” prosecutor Hassan al-Abdallat said in a statement.
“The ban on publication involves all audio-visual media and social networks, as well as the publication of all images or video clips relating to this subject on pain of legal action.”
According to Human Rights Watch, the past year has shown that 83 governments have taken steps to violate,”…the exercise of free speech and peaceful assembly.” Jordan must not allow itself to become the 84th government to deny its citizenry the right to reliable information.
Our Team, which consists of the Friends of ADALA and collective of journalist and activists urge the government of Jordan to not take further actions to destroy the foundations of stability within modern Jordan. We also petition the government to re-assess its recent ban on publications pursuant to the matter of Prince Hamza and the alleged plotted coupe. Jordanians, and the world, seek and deserve the truth, afford them the opportunity to receive factual information then partake in healthy public discourse. For not only does this action crack the foundations of mode Jordan’s stability it allows malign actors to fill an information void with misinformation and propaganda.