The Centre for Defending the Freedoms of Journalists (CDFJ) voiced its “serious” concern over the detention of two journalists for 14 days for publishing an article and news item related to Jordanian Pilot Muath Kasasbeh, who was held hostage by the Islamic State (Daesh).
Hashem Khalidi, publisher of Sarayanews, and Seif Obeidat, a journalist at the news website, were detained in the Marka prison on charges of promoting terrorist groups’ ideologies and engaging in acts that might endanger the lives of Jordanians after they published an article related to Kasasbeh.
In a statement made on Wednesday, January 28, the centre called for their immediate release, stressing that journalists should not be detained or imprisoned for what they publish according to the Press and Publication Law.
“We renew our rejection of detaining journalists and will take legal action to secure their release, and continue efforts with official and judicial authorities to end this case that harms the image of Jordan,” CDFJ President Nidal Mansour said.
Mansour also called on media outlets to be careful when publishing anything related to the pilot.
“Press freedom does not mean publishing misleading information… that might endanger his life and affect the track of negotiations to secure his release.”
The CDFJ urged media outlets and social media activists to stop circulating rumors and causing chaos, expressing hope that the government will play a more active role in providing information.