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STOCKHOLM - Skyline condemns the arbitrary and unlawful arrest of Journalist Jamal Haddad, the publisher of Al Waqi’a news website, today, Thursday, by the State Security Prosecutor in Jordan. 

In a press release, the Stockholm-based international foundation "Skyline" said that the journalist, Haddad, has been arrested on publication issues, which is completely rejected and unjustified, as it violates international conventions and agreements on opinion and expression and freedom of journalism rights.

According to testimonies complied by Skyline, Haddad was arrested by the State Security Court for publishing a press item about government officials having the Coronavirus vaccine and criticizing the conflicting government statements about the vaccine.

Skyline confirms that this is a new violation of the right to express opinion freely, in contradiction with international charters and agreements, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Jordan ratified in 1975.

Article 19 of the International Covenant states that "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

Skyline affirms that the Jordanian authorities' repeated arrest of journalists due to performing their jobs restricts public freedoms and rights guaranteed by the Jordanian constitution. It also warns of abuse by the new Jordanian government and its efforts to increase the security grip.

Skyline stresses that the Jordanian authorities' continued policy of muzzling dissents contravenes their obligations towards international covenants and agreements and is considered as an extension to applying the 2015 Cybercrime Law. It is also based on severely restricting freedom of expression by imposing criminal penalties for publishing what the authorities call “ false news or sharing hate speech on Internet".

Skyline calls for the immediate release of journalist Jamal Haddad. It also calls for halting referring journalists to the State Security Court in cases related to the Press and Publications Law.