SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom - Samir Kassir Foundation

Jordanian journalist Adnan Al-Rousan arrested over critical columns posted on Facebook

Thursday , 18 August 2022

On Monday, August 15, 2022, seven unidentified men, including two in military uniform, arrested Adnan Al-Rousan, a prominent Jordanian columnist who writes critically about the government on Facebook, from his home in Amman according to a post on his Facebook page with information attributed to his family after his arrest, as well as news reports


News reports said the Jordanian public prosecutor ordered Al-Rousan’s arrest because he allegedly violated Jordan’s cybercrime law by writing articles “insulting to Jordan” and “offensive to the national approach and fabric, and insulting the cohesion of Jordanian society and state institutions.” 


In a post on Al-Rousan’s Facebook page, his family said that the journalist will be held at Marka prison in Amman for a week, and will be charged with unspecified cybercrime offenses over his last two Facebook posts. The most recent one, on August 14, was directed at King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, saying “Jordan isn’t your property, it’s for us Jordanians.” The second most recent one, on August 10, blamed the king for poor living conditions and said the king failed to “give justice to the oppressed.”


CPJ was unable to determine if Al-Rousan has been officially charged; people convicted of breaking the cybercrime law face a range of penalties depending on the crime. 

 

Al-Rousan regularly publishes political commentary on his Facebook page, where he counts 35,000 likes and 37,000 followers. He contributed to the independent local news website Ammon from 2006 to 2018. 

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