The Centre for Defending Freedom of Journalists expressed its hope for the release of the imprisoned journalist Nidal Salameh, who was arrested following a judicial ruling in a press case, and urged the President of the Judicial Council to agree to substitute the 3 month prison sentence with a fine, emphasizing that this is an available option according to the law and under the jurisdiction of the judge.
The Operational Director of the CDFJ, Nidal Mansour, said: “We respect the independence of the judges and we defend it, but at the same time we find that the arrest and detention of journalists contravenes international standards of freedom of expression in the media, and all Jordanian legislation requires that it be repealed.”
Mansour pointed out that Salameh had been imprisoned the previous Wednesday on 2/1/2019 and that the request to replace the prison sentence with a fine was not accepted, despite knowledge that his colleague suffers from diabetes and that his health condition is delicate, facts which demand urgent action to facilitate his release.
It is worth mentioning that the claim was made against the site “Jerash News Agency” in 2015 and was raised by a private hospital, against the site and the editor Jihad Abu Bidr and the journalist Nidal Salameh.
The Court of Appeals has upheld the initial decision of the Court to sentence Salameh and Abu Bidr to prison for 3 months, which constitutes the most severe punishment based on the violation of provisions (38-7-5) from the Press and Publications Law and Article 11 of the Cybercrime Law.
The Lawyer Marwan Salem has filed an appeal with a written order to the Minister of Justice, which is still pending.