Cairo, January 15, 2019

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemns the return of profanity charges to intimidate activists and social media users of criticizing political authorities in the Kingdom, following the decision to hold activist Mustafa Shouman in pretrial detention for a week pending investigation on charges of profanity, against the background of posting a comment on his Facebook account.

On January 13th, Amman’s Attorney General refused to release activist Mustafa Shouman on bail, and he was imprisoned for a week in Juwaida Reform and Rehabilitation Center, on charges of profanity, upon a request from the Electronic Crimes Unit, against the background of posting a comment on his “Facebook” account, describing the story of Al-Shomali watching a thrilling match from outside the cafe glass in Amman, hosted by the king, and the crown prince at his palace during the football match between the Jordanian national team against Syria, as fabricated.

Activist Mustafa Shouman suddenly became – following a heated intervention before the prime minister last December – a star on social media, as he supported marginalized groups in Jordan after he addressed the prime minister using his name without titles. He then defended the ” we have nothing” campaign saying that the people of Jordan, due to need and corruption, are deprived of everything.

ANHRI said: “The arrest of activist Mustafa Shouman violates the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and the charge against him is a joke.”

ANHRI added: “We thought that the Jordanian authorities had put an end to using this ridiculous accusation, but it seems that this was because the citizens were not crossing the red lines; which are the king, and government officials. Now we can see that the authorities did not hesitate to use that ridiculous accusation once the activists crossed those phantom lines. ”

ANHRI demands the Jordanian authorities to release activist Mustafa Shouman and to drop that charge against him and all those referred to the judiciary based on the same charge.