Jordan Civil Coalition Against Press Law Vows Disobedience


[26-09-2012 12:00 AM]

Ammon News - AMMONNEWS - In a mass demonstration against the recent changes to the Press and Publications Law, which was held at the sit- in journalists’ tent in Amman, activists, journalists, civil society organizations and national figures gathered to announce the launch of the Civil Coalition against the New Press and Publications Law. In the launch, participants express categorical opposition against the law recently passed by lawmakers and endorsed by the King, describing it as “shameful” and pledged to fight it in all possible legal and civil means.

The launch of the Coalition comes as a result of obstinate attitude by Jordanian officials in insisting on passing the law despite the resulting outcome of restricting media and press freedoms, and also extends to freedoms of expression and opinion. This law revives the memory of an era passed, where the authorities held a tight grip around the media in all its forms, chocking up any attempts to empower independent and objective press. This outcaste law puts Jordan on the list of authoritarian states that are hostile to Internet freedoms.

In light of this law, publishers of online news websites announced their rejection of the law and vowed to instigate “electronic disobedience” by refusing to abide by its stipulations. Journalists renewed their calls to the Jordanian regime to reconsider the law and reach a compromise draft that guarantees, for both sides, an organized and regulated electronic media sector that is in accordance with international media conventions and regulations.

Below is the statement, followed by supporting signatories:

Declaration Announcing Launch of the Civil Coalition Against the New Press and Publications Law

All the political parties, trade unions, civil society organizations, and public figures signing this statement announce:

1. Forming a civil coalition against the amended 2012 Jordanian press and publications law, due to the tight restrictions it imposes on press freedoms, freedom of expression and opinion, and a new attempt to stifle electronic media.

2. Announce their unconditional support to public freedom, particularly press freedoms, and its absolute backing of all Jordanian electronic news websites in confronting the latest wave of governmental campaigns against the press, which began last decade.

We take this stand in an attempt to raise the ceiling of freedoms in Jordan and ensure that all citizens have the right and access to knowledge.

The launching of the coalition is based on the following:

1. The recent amendments to the Press and Publications Law, which stifle freedoms of expression and opinion, contradict the reform measures that Jordanians are demanding.

2. Our refusal of trusteeship on the freedom of expression, and using legislation as means to impose restrictions that violate the basic rights of citizens.

3. The new amendments to the Press and Publications Law contradict Constitutional Article No. 7, which guarantees protection of personal freedoms, and that any violation of the rights or public freedoms or private live of Jordanians is a crime punishable by law.

4. The new amendments contradict Constitutional Article No. 15, which stipulates that the state guarantees freedom of opinion, and that every Jordanian has the right to express their opinion freely whether by saying, writing, copying, and all means of expression with the condition of not trespassing the limits of the law.

5. Amendments to the law also conflict with the nature of cyberspace, which is an open and wide platform, with no restrictions. It is also an interactive media platform that contributed to the creation of “citizen journalist” trend, away from any governmental conditions aimed mainly to control this space.

6. These amendments conflict with international standards adopted in the fields of media freedoms, internet freedoms, and personal freedoms, as follows:

a. Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states: 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.

b. Article 19 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, which states “1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference, 2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice, 3. The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary: (a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others; (b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals.

c. Article 3 of the Arab Charter on Human Rights, which states: “(a.) Each State Party to the present Charter undertakes to ensure to all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction the right to enjoy all the rights and freedoms recognized herein, without any distinction on grounds of race, color, sex, language, religion, opin- ion, thought, national or social origin, property, birth or physical or mental disability; (b) The States Party to the present Charter shall undertake necessary measures to guarantee effective equality in the enjoyment of all rights and liberties established in the present Charter, so as to pro- tect against all forms of discrimination based on any reason men- tioned in the previous paragraph.



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It is well known that Jordan has signed and ratified on the above international charters and conventions, which are supreme to local laws, and necessitate local laws be amended to be in accordance with the spirit and text of the conventions.

The Civil Coalition Against the Press and Publications Law announces its rejection of this law that restricts freedoms, in particular freedoms of expression, the press, and the Internet. The Coalition stresses that it will endeavor to topple this law, legally and popularly, and will support calls for electronic disobedience and non-compliance with the law.

Signatories:

Professional Syndicates

Azem Qaddoumi / Chairman of Jordanian Professional Associations

Dr.Ahmad Armouti/ Chairman of Jordan Medical Association

Hussien Al-Khateeb/ Chairman of Jordan Artists Association

Mustafa Al-Rawashde / Chairman of Jordan Teachers Association

Bahjat Odwan/ Chairman of Jordan Geologists Association

Tariq Al-Momani/ Chairman of Jordan Press Association

Independent trade unions

Independent Syndicate of Phosphate Sector Employees



National Political Parties and Movements

The Muslim brotherhood

Islamic Action Front political party

Jordanian Popular Unity political party

Jordan Communist political party

Jordan Social National Liberty political party

National Front for Reform

Higher National Committee for Military Veterans

Coordination of Jordanian Movements

Youth Coalition for Reform and Change – Maan

Nationalist Progressive Current

Ayasra Movement

Southern Mazar Movement

Youth and Popular Movement of Karak

Ajloun Movement

Dheiban Movement

Hay Al Tafaileh Free Movement

Capital Amman Free Movement

Arab Renewal Movement

Committee for Defense of Political Prisoners

Coalition of Jordanian Tribes

Citizenship and Civil Thought Association

Amman Teachers Free Committee

Liberation and Change Current

Socialist Left Movement

“Secularists for Civil State” Group



Civil Society Organizations



Center for Protection and Freedom of Journalists

Adaala Center for Human Rights Studies

Hayat Center for Development of Civil Society

Hawiyya Center

Al Fayneq Center for Studies

Jordan Partners Center

Sindiyan Association / Ajloun

East-West Center for Development of Human Resources

Academy of Change for Human Rights Studies

Amman Center for Human Rights Studies

Jerusalem Center for Political Studies

Equality Center for Democracy Research and Studies Center

Association of Lawyers Defending Human Rights

Basar Institute for Civil Society Studies

Al Badeel Studies Center

Arab Organization for Human Rights

Jordanian Association for Human Rights

Roots Center for Human Rights

Social Media Network

Jordanian Commission for Democratic Culture

Mizaan Group for Human Rights

Da’em Center

Hor Ya Net Movement

Arab Female Journalists Center

Inbi’aath Civilizational Center

Jordanian Association for Convention on National Morals

Radical Magazine Editorial Board





Public, national figures, and Political Activists:



Laith Shbeilat

Mohammad Hammouri / former Minister

Toujan Faisal / former Member of Parliament

Labib Qamhawi / Political Activist

Khalil Attiyah / Current MP

Abdullah Nsour / Current MP

Bassam Hadadeen / Current MP

Hosni Sheyyab / Current MP

Wasfi Rawashdeh / Current MP

Jamil Nimri / Current MP

Abla Abu Elbeh / Current MP

Sheikh Salim Falahat

Khaled Ramadan

Khaled Khalalde

Fahmi Katkout

Abdul Razeq Bani Hani

Raed Odwan

Dr. Saeed Theyab

Dr.Muneer Hamarneh

Sheik Khalaf Al Hadid

Eng.Badi Al Rafaya

Maysara Malas

Dr.Fakher Daas

Dr.Akram Kreshan

Retired brigadier Musa Al-Hadeed

Researcher Dr.Ahmad Madi

Activist Ahmad Oqab

Activist Eng.Waleed Al – Masri

Activist Basel Bashabshe

Activist Dr. Ali Al Habashneh

Activist Sami Shreim

Former minister Rakan Al-Majale

Journalist Mahasen Al-Emam

Political activist Salem Al-Eifa

Political activist Fouad Qubeilat

Political Activist Yaser Al-Ouran

Lawyer Mohammad Al-Harasees

Columnist Nahed Hattar

Lawyer Saleh Al-Armouti

Political activist Dr.Hashem Abu Hassan

Political activist Durgham Halase

Former MP Dr.Ali Al Dalaeen

Former minister Dr.Mohammad Kher Mamser

Political activist Dr.Abdulla Faraj Alla

Researcher Dr.Shafiq Duwaik

Eng.Ghazi Al Khateeb

Activist Hasan Haydar

Political activist Mohammad Saleh Abu Tarboush

Former MP. Dr.Ouda Qawwas

Former MP. Rawhi Shuhaltoug

Former MP. Mubarak Abu Yamen

Activist Ismael Burghol

Activist Wael Dumoor

Activist Samer Al-Qasem

Researcher and activist Osama Kanaan

Union activist Mohammad Al-Saneed

Political activist Dr.Mohammad Kafaween

Political activist Sabri Akroush

Lawyer and activist Rudwan Al-Nawayseh

Lawyer Nour Al-Emam

Activist Maher Salameh

Activist Dr.Sulaiman Suweis

Activist Emad Al Deek

Actor Mohammad Qabbani

Actor Suheir Fahad

Researcher Hani Hourani

Political activist Omar Abu Rassa

Political activist Jamal Al-Tahat

Political activist Mahmoud Ameen Heyari

Writer Jamal Naje

Writer Jamal Al Qaisi

Activist Sameeh Barari

Activist Rajab Jubara

Political Activist Dr.Ahmad Zeyad Abu Ghunaimeh

Writer Jamal Al-Shawaheen

Writer Saleem Mohammad Abu Mahfouz

Activist Yousef Akroush

Activist Hamza Fouad Rasheed

Activist Moufaq Zeyadat

Activist Ali Al-Barayse

Activist Mahmoud Hamshari

Activist Mousa Abdullat

Activist Humam Qarara

Activist Nedal Klaleyani




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