Thursday, May 10, 200719 comments
The Amman prosecutor on Sunday rejected a bail request for former MP Ahmad Oweidi Abbadi, who was detained last week on charges of slander, undermining the country's reputation, and violating laws governing e-mail practices, his lawyer said.
Last Thursday, Amman Prosecutor Saber Rawashdeh ordered Abbadi's detention for 15 dyas at the Jweideh Correctional and Rehabilitation Centre pending further investigation, following a complaint filed by Interior Minister Eid Fayez, a judicial source told The Jordan Times.
Abbadi's arrest was made in connection with statements he published on the Internet criticizing Jordan and its officials, including the interior minister, a judicial source told The Jordan Times. He did not elaborate.
The statement at the center of the controversy involves an open letter in English addressed to US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, which was posted on the [Jordan National Movement] website. Abbadi is the group's chairman.
The letter, dated April 30, accuses top government officials of corruption and claims the country is suffering a setback in democratic freedoms, particularly freedom of the press and the "abuse of detainees."
It also blamed corruption for "setting back the state of affairs in the country's social, educational and health institutions."
This article disturbs me. How do we expect to combat government corruption when anyone who speaks out can be arrested as a slanderous underminer? And what is up with the idea of "laws governing e-mail practices"?
What better way to prove that the country is pro-freedom of speech than by locking up someone who claims otherwise.
Source: The Jordan Times, May 7, 2007