Jordan: Arbitrary Detention of Blogger due to Facebook Post on Queen Rania
STOCKHOLM - Skyline International calls on the Jordanian authorities to immediately release the blogger, "Ali Sarsour," who has been detained for more than three weeks due to a post he shared on Facebook.
Skyline expresses concern about the health condition of blogger "Sarsour," who has been on hunger strike since 10th last June. Also, there is no accurate information about his status until the moment.
The blogger's family told Skyline that their son is being held in solitary confinement, amid suspicions of being ill-treated, even though he has kidney disease. He had surgery while in prison and suffers from other conditions such as rheumatism.
In addition to his poor health condition, the continued detention of blogger "Sarsour" risks him in light of the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Sarsour is charged with verbally insulting the Jordanian queen Rania by calling her Rania "Sarsour" (Sarsour is an Arabic surname that translates into English as "cockroach"), perhaps referring to her last name as "Sarsour", which is known to be the Queen's family old name. Therefore, the Cybercrime Unit arrested him a month ago.
"Skyline" confirms that the arrest of "Sarsour" is one of a long series of violations of freedom of opinion in Jordan that contradicts the Jordanian Constitution. Accordingly, article (15) of this constitution states that "the state guarantees freedom of opinion, and that every Jordanian can express his opinion freely in the form of speech, writing, photography or any other means of expression, provided that it does not go beyond the limits of the law."
In this context, these arrests contradict Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which affirms the right to freedom of expression. It may, therefore, be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary.
Moreover, Skyline states that the Jordanian Code of Criminal Procedure regulates the correct detention procedures, and without his lawyer's presence and an official citation, the detention is unlawful. This procedure also includes notifying the person before his arrest and signing a written record in the presence of his lawyers.
The International Skyline Foundation calls on the Jordanian authorities to release Blogger "Sarsour" and all prisoners of conscience. Hence, the unlawful arrest procedures contradict the Jordanian law, which guarantees access to information and protects freedom of expression.