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IFJ condemns Internet censorship in Jordan

Amman's next: Demonstrators march through the streets from Salahuddin Mosque to protest the appointment of new Prime Minister, Marouf Bakhit on February 4, 2011 in Amman, Jordan. The protest was called by the Islamic Action Front, and was attended by several hundred after Friday prayers. Marouf Bakhit was appointed by King Abdullah, and has promised that there will be political reforms including a dialogue with opposition parties.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) on Wednesday accused the Jordanian government of stifling calls for democratic change after the country's intelligence service disabled a news website and removed a letter to the King demanding political reforms.

IFJ backed protests by journalists' leaders and others who joined a protest after the country's biggest news website was hacked into and a report over the letter was taken down. Leaders of the IFJ affiliate, the Jordanian Press Association(JPA), joined the demonstration which was held outside the union offices in central Amman.

"This is a sinister development that shows how vulnerable free speech on the internet has become to spooks and censors from inside government," said Aidan White IFJ General Secretary. "We support the rights of journalists across all sectors of the media to publish freely. This incident is shocking evidence of political interference in the democratic process."

IFJ says that it will support the Jordan Press Association and its members who demand that journalists are allowed to work without restraint, particularly when voices calling for political change are being heard across the Arab world and in Jordan itself.

"This is a momentous time when the people have a right to know and a right to participate in debates about the future," said White. "It is not for government and their security people to try to censor legitimate comment."

Date posted: February 12, 2011 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 220