Skyline Urges Immediate Release and Protection of Journalist Ahmed Al-Zoubi Amidst Crackdown on Freedom of Expression in Jordan
Skyline International Foundation for Human Rights firmly expresses its unwavering support for journalist Ahmed Hassan Al-Zoubi, who has been unjustly sentenced to one year in prison, a clear violation of his fundamental right to freedom of expression.
In a statement issued today, Monday, as an organization dedicated to upholding human rights, Skyline condemns the ongoing crackdown by authorities that targets individuals like Al-Zoubi. Skyline firmly believes that the freedom of expression is a cornerstone of any democratic society, enabling individuals to express their opinions and contribute to public discourse without fear of reprisal.
Skyline stands in solidarity with Al-Zoubi and calls for his immediate release, urging the authorities to respect and protect the rights of journalists and all individuals exercising their right to express their views freely and without persecution.
On September 21, 2023, the defense's plea to review the one-year sentence handed down to Al-Zoubi was denied by the Jordanian Minister of Justice.
Earlier, on August 16, 2023, Al-Zoubi's legal team had formally requested the Minister of Justice to intervene by writing to the Director of Public Prosecutions, urging the revocation of the one-year prison sentence imposed on their client. This request was made in accordance with Article 291/1 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which empowers the Minister with the authority to intervene in such matters.
Credible sources have informed Skyline International Foundation for Human Rights that Al-Zoubi's defense team intends to submit a similar request to the Director of Administrative Prosecutions in the near future.
In this regard, Skyline asserts that Jordanian authorities must fullfil its constitutional obligations, which consist of protecting the civil and human rights of citizens, suspending the implementation of the law to combat cybercrime, and working to protect freedom of expression online and offline.
Skyline points out that, according to the World Press Freedom Rankings published by Reporters Without Borders, Jordan has fallen from 120th place in 2022 to 146th out of 180 countries in 2023 as the government increasingly cracks down on journalists and the media.
At the end of its statement, Skyline urges the Jordanian authorities to Lift the one-year prison sentence imposed on journalist Ahmed Hassan Al-Zoubi and immediately cease prosecuting him. They must Respect freedom of expression and opinion without restricting it, and allow Internet activists to use cyberspace without restricting their activities in accordance with Article 15 of the Jordanian Constitution. Authorities must also comply with Jordan’s international obligations under international agreements guaranteeing freedom of opinion and expression, in particular the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.