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Jordan: sending emails and writing online poems can send you to prison!

Categories: Jordan

Yesterday (October 9, 2007), Ahmad Oweidi al-Abbadi [1], the 62-year-old former parliamentarian and leader of the Jordanian National Movement [2], was sentenced to two years in prison [3] for “undermining state dignity”, “sending false news through emails” and “illegally distributing leaflets.”

Ahmad Oweidi al-Abbadi was arrested on May 3, 2007, for accusing the government of corruption in an open letter emailed to US senator Harry Reid. “The jailing of Ahmad Oweidi shows that Jordan’s government hasn’t shaken off its old habits of going after critics by putting them in prison,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch [4].

According to the Jordanian Al-Ghad newspaper [5] [Ar], another Jordanian has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for writing and publishing poems [6] on Jihadi websites praising Al Qaeda leader Osama Ben Laden. Mohammed Al-Zohairi, who is being depicted as “Al Qaeda Poet [5]” was arrested in August 9, 2007 and charged with offense against the royal dignity.

Book Cover

Book Cover: “Raining Blood [7]” on the top and “Al Qaeda Poet, Mohammed Al-Zohairi” on the bottom. Source: Warriors Literature Blog [6]