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Syndicate criticises measures to restrict journalists' work under Dome

By JT - Nov 21,2016 - Last updated at Nov 21,2016

AMMAN — The Jordan Press Association's (JPA) council on Monday expressed its rejection of all measures that restrict the work of journalists and affect their rights that are guaranteed under the Constitution and by law.

In a statement carried by the Jordan News Agency, Petra, the JPA condemned the "unjustified obstruction" that journalists experienced earlier in the day while they were covering Lower House sessions.

The JPA said it was following what happened with some journalists under the Dome, criticising the speakership's statements that differentiated between journalists and photojournalists, which "contributed to worsening the situation".

The JPA also blamed the House for issuing permits to people who are not legally recognised as journalists to cover the sessions.

The JPA Law defines journalists as individuals who are members of the association.

The council urged the House to abide by issuing media permits only to those journalists who have membership at the JPA, voicing its rejection of the mistreatment of photojournalists, Petra reported.

In Monday's session, House Speaker Atef Tarawneh criticised photojournalists for "violating the privacy of officials" under the Dome after a photo was published on Sunday of Interior Minister Salameh Hammad holding a note he reportedly received from an MP.

"Your frowning face is unpleasant. Smile so that we do not vote to withhold confidence," the note reads.

Security personnel prevented some journalists from entering the Parliament's parking lot and were "noticeably rough" with them.

After Tarawneh criticised the photojournalists, the reporters and photographers who were present left the session in protest.

Constitutionally, Parliament is a public space and journalists are allowed to report and photograph any event that takes place under the Dome.

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