Jordanian authorities continued to arbitrary detain the journalist and political writer Adnan Al-Rousan for the eleventh consecutive day.
On Monday, August 15, Jordanian security forces arrested Al-Rousan, a prominent Jordanian columnist who writes critically about the government on Facebook, from his home in Amman according to a post on his Facebook page with information attributed to his family after his arrest.
Last Wednesday, a Jordanian court refused to release Al-Rousan on a bail for unknown reasons.
News reports said the Jordanian public prosecutor ordered Al-Rousan’s arrest because he allegedly violated Jordan’s cybercrime law by writing articles “insulting to Jordan” and “offensive to the national approach and fabric and insulting the cohesion of Jordanian society and state institutions.”
In a post on Al-Rousan’s Facebook page, his family said that the journalist will be held at Marka prison in Amman for a week and will be charged with unspecified cybercrime offenses over his last two Facebook posts. The most recent one, on August 14, was directed at King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, saying “Jordan isn’t your property, it’s for us Jordanians.” The second most recent one, on August 10, blamed the king for poor living conditions and said the king failed to “give justice to the oppressed.”
Jordan has been downgraded from ‘obstructed’ to ‘repressed’ in a 2021 report by the CIVICUS Monitor, a global research collaboration that rates and tracks fundamental freedoms in 197 countries and territories.
According to the report, the suspension of the last remaining Teachers’ Association, internet shutdowns, and restrictions enforced on journalists, civil society and activists, have led to the downgrade.
For many years, Jordan was classified by Freedom House as a partly-free country. But as of 2021, Jordan’s classification fell back, and it was classified as not free.