ANHRI said today that the article “We will not live in a stupid man’s robe” of journalist Mohamed Habshaneh, which was published in al-Arab al-Yawm newspaper on 20 March 2012 was withdrawn from its website as a result of pressures from the Jordanian Royal Court. This incident reveals the pressures and censorship practiced against journalists and the reality of the Jordanian government’s claims of protecting press freedom and that the sky is the limit of freedom of expression.
In his aforementioned article, Habshaneh criticized the Jordanian government’s performance during the protests of the city of al-Tafila, and the widespread unemployment and corruption. Resented by his bold criticism, the Royal Court exerted pressures to withdraw the article from the newspaper’s website and summoned its editorial board which reportedly refused to expel Huda al-Sarhan, the journalist responsible for publishing the article.
“In a state where citizens are detained on charges of disrespect, tens are repressed and detained for criticizing corruption, the Royal Palace is outraged because of an opinion piece, and the editorial board of one of the major Jordanian newspapers is pressured, any talk about freedom of expression and the press is pure nonsense and artificial claims. The Jordanian people still have a long way to go in order to gain their rights to independent press that is able to freely criticize,” said ANHRI.