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State Security Court releases detained journalists on bail

By Mohammad Ghazal - Dec 31,2013 - Last updated at Dec 31,2013

AMMAN — The State Security Court (SSC) on Tuesday released journalists Amjad Moalla and Nidal Faraaneh on bail, after four months of detention.

Several journalists welcomed the decision and reiterated their call for trying journalists before civilian courts rather than military ones.

“My release today along with my colleague Amjad is a triumph for justice. I am thankful for finally being released,” Faraaneh told The Jordan Times Tuesday after his release.

“I reiterate my call that journalists should not be tried before military tribunals, as this is a violation of the Press and Publications Law,” he said.

“Any case that has to do with media freedoms or freedom of expression should be taken to civilian courts; otherwise, media freedoms will negatively be affected,” Faraaneh added.

Hussein Omoush, a member of the Jordan Press Association’s (JPA) council, welcomed Faraaneh and Moalla’s release, saying the JPA will hold a meeting soon to suspend an open-ended sit-in it called for recently in protest against their detention.

“The sky should be the limit when it comes to media freedoms,” Omoush told The Jordan Times. 

“We support responsible media and we are with the judiciary in case of violations, but journalists should not be tried at the [military] State Security Court, which is in charge of handling cases of terrorism and national security,” he added.

Faraaneh, publisher and owner of, and its managing editor, Moalla, were detained by an order of the SSC in September over a video published on the news website. 

The journalists were charged with carrying out acts that the government does not approve of and which would expose the Kingdom and its citizens to the risk of acts of aggression, after they posted a video deemed offensive to a royal family member from a Gulf state, according to a source close to the detainees.

Basel Okour, chief editor of and head of a committee representing several news websites, welcomed the release of the two journalists, calling for serious efforts to end trying journalists at military courts.

“This should be a lesson. Journalists should not be tried before military courts. Detention of journalists hampers media freedoms,” said Okour.

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