CPJ calls on Jordan authorities to free TV journalist
Nov 7, Washington DC: The Committee to Protect Journalists has called on the Jordan authorities to free TV anchor Tareq Abu al-Ragheb who was arrested on Tuesday for posting allegedly insulting comments on Facebook, according to reports.
Al-Ragheb, an anchor with privately owned satellite channel Al-Haqiqah International, was charge-sheeted for defamation under Jordan's cybercrime law which bans abusive and provocative remarks that are made against a religion or promote hatred and threaten coexistence in the Kingdon, according to his outlet and other reports.
Amman prosecutor general Rami Tarawneh ordered the journalist, who presents the TV show "Face the Truth" to be held in pretrial detention for one week over a Facebook post that authorities described as "non-objective and full of libel and slander," reports that cited his Facebook page said.
In a move criticized by the Jordan Press Association, the government ruled last month that defamation charges can be brought against journalists, news websites, and social networking sites under the country's cybercrime law instead of its press law, which prevents journalists being imprisoned for press-related violations. Those found guilty of being in violation of the cybercrime law face a jail term of no less than three months and a maximum fine of 2,000 dinars (US$2,800).