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TV presenter detained ‘over Facebook post’

By JT - Nov 03,2015 - Last updated at Nov 03,2015

AMMAN — Amman Prosecutor General Rami Tarawneh on Tuesday ordered the detention of Tareq Abu Ragheb, a TV presenter at Al Haqiqah satellite channel. 

Abu Ragheb said on his Facebook page that his detention for a week was over a post that he shared on the social media website which was viewed by the authorities as “non-objective and full of libel and slander”. 

He did not specify which post he was detained over, but an informed source told The Jordan Times that Abu Ragheb, also a lawyer, shared several posts over the past weeks that included criticism and harsh words against local and Arab entities. 

The broadcaster was sent to Marka prison, according to a Facebook post he wrote on Tuesday afternoon. 

The lawyer, who presents a talk show to debate current domestic issues, described the government as “an enemy of free speech”. 

The source said Abu Ragheb was detained for violating the Electronic Crime Law by making “abusive” and “provocative” remarks against a religion that could be seen as promoting hatred and threatening coexistence in the Kingdom. 

Last month, Osama Al Ramini, the chief editor of Al Balad news website, was detained for violating the same law. 

He was supposed to be detained for two weeks but was bailed out after a day.

The Jordan Press Association has criticised a recent decision by the Law Interpretation Bureau ruling that slander on news websites and social networking sites is covered by the Electronic Crime Law, which allows for the detention of media practitioners.

 

The ruling, which stated that Article 11 of the Electronic Crime Law applies in cases of online slander, was made after Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour requested an interpretation by the bureau on whether the Press and Publications Law or the Electronic Crime Law could apply to such crimes.

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