SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom - Samir Kassir Foundation

International press freedom groups urge Jordanian authorities to release Roya TV journalists Fares Sayegh and Mohamad Khalidi

Friday , 10 April 2020

International press freedom groups call on the Jordanian authorities to release TV Director, Fares Sayegh, from the independent Jordanian TV station Roya TV and the station's news Director, Mohamad Khalidi.

Both journalists were required to appear before the Public Prosecutor late Thursday 9 April after having covered a segment on the economic consequences of Jordan’s Covid-19 lockdown. After hearing both their testimonies, the Public Prosecutor made a decision to detain both journalists pending the investigation in this complaint.

Jordanian authorities have taken tough measures to hinder the spread of Covid-19, including threatening to jail anyone caught outside their homes outside curfew pursuant to the authorities granted by the country’s Martial Law. This has had a devastating impact on people’s economic situation with people losing their jobs and businesses having to close.

Carrying out their duty as journalists, Fares Sayegh and Mohamad Khalidi were reporting on the impact of the measures on the population, exercising their right to freedom of expression. In doing their work, they were respecting Covid-19 related emergency measures imposed by the authorities.

Regardless of the legal framework, arresting journalists is never a good idea, and especially not under the current circumstances where people are in dire need of information on the health situation as well as the social, political and economic impact of the pandemic.

The undersigned organisations urge the Jordanian authorities to immediately release Fares Sayegh and Mohamad Khalidi, demonstrating to the world they are ready to protect journalists’ rights to investigate and report critically and freely even in times of crisis.

Signed,

Canal France International (CFI)
Free Press Unlimited
International Media Support (IMS)
Samir Kassir Foundation – SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom

Share News