The Jordanian authorities arrested five activists after protesting against a draft law that was denounced by human rights organisations for curbing freedom of expression.
During the peaceful protest that was held in Irbid Governorate, north of Jordan, to protest against the cybercrime draft law, the Jordanian security forces arrested Ihab Ababneh, Abdul Rahman Abu Khadra, Abdullah Al-Mashawi, Nadim Al-Rawashdeh, and Hussam Al-Din Al-Ibrahim.
The five young men’s arrest sparked outrage among rights groups and political parties in Jordan, prompting the government to release them a few hours later.
The arrests came as part of the Jordanian authorities’ suppression policy against calls for reform in the country.
Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly according to both Jordanian and international laws, and any arrest based on such charges is a flagrant violation of the right to personal freedom in Jordan.
Several human rights organisations denounced the new legislation as an attack on freedom of expression and Jordan’s human rights obligations that grant freedom of expression.
14 rights groups said in a joint statement that the law is “draconian”, adding that its “vague provisions open the door for Jordan’s executive branch to punish individuals for exercising their right to freedom of expression, forcing the judges to convict citizens in most cases”.