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Al Balad website’s editor, owner and reporter convicted of ‘contempt of brotherly state’

By Rana Husseini - Oct 25,2015 - Last updated at Oct 25,2015

AMMAN — The State Security Court on Sunday sentenced the chief editor of Al Balad news website, its owner and a reporter to three- and four-month prison terms on charges of contempt of a “brotherly state”.

The three defendants were standing trial over an article that was published on the website that criticised the war on Yemen by the coalition.

The tribunal amended the original charge of acts that would disturb the Kingdom’s ties to a foreign state to contempt of a brotherly state.

Chief Editor Osama Al Ramini and the owner and general manager of the website Hassan Sufeirah were each handed a three-month prison term by the military tribunal.  

The reporter who wrote the article in question, Jamal Ayoub, was sentenced to four months in prison.

“All sentences were either replaced by fines or the defendants had already served the sentence. Everyone walked from the court today,” a senior judicial source said.

The court also ordered the news website to pay JD200 in fines for violating the Electronic Crime Law.

The military tribunal comprised judges Col. Raed Izmegna, Adel Hmeidat and Farahan Mubeidin.

The Jordan Press Association, which reiterated rejection of detaining journalists over publications, said recently that “there are some unacceptable and unprofessional practices by journalists.”

“Unfortunately, in our profession we suffer from having intruders who have nothing to do with journalism and who take advantage of their jobs to exploit others, build their reputation or obtain some benefits and perks,” JPA President Tareq Momani told The Jordan Times in a recent interview.

“We support media freedom, but at the same time we are against violating freedoms of others,” he stressed.
“Professional journalists enjoy a very high level of freedom. To make a name in the profession, one should not be after publishing un-sourced news or sensational material just to seek fame,” Momani said.

 

The association currently has about 1,200 members.

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