Jordan. Syndicate wants detained journalist free

AMMAN. July 10, 2015The Jordan Press Association (JPA) on Thursday called for the release of Al Rai journalist Ghazi Mrayat who was detained after violating a gag order preventing media from publishing news on a foiled terror plot.

“We reject his detention. Journalists should not be detained for publishing articles. In addition, they should not be tried at military courts. They should be tried at civil courts,” Tareq Momani, president of the Jordan Press Association, told The Jordan Times on Thursday.

“I am not optimistic that Mrayat will be released today [Thursday]. In such cases, the bail usually takes some time, but we are doing our best to secure his release, which is, again, totally unacceptable,” Momani, also chief editor of Al Rai daily, said over the phone on Thursday.

The head of the press syndicate called for legislative amendments that ensure no journalist is detained in cases related to doing his job.

On Wednesday, the State Security Court (SSC) detained Mrayat after publishing a report detailing the recent foiled terror plot in spite of a gag order preventing media outlets from further publishing about the case.

He is in custody for 15 days at Marka Correctional and Rehabilitation Centre pending further investigation into the case.

The foiled terror case first reported by Al Rai Monday involved the recent arrest of a suspect who allegedly plotted to carry out terrorist attacks in the country.

In Wednesday’s issue, Al Rai published more details on the case a few days after the ban, with Momani insisting that his newspaper did not received an official letter from authorities notifying it with the gag. 

In a related development, the State Security Court issued during a session on Monday a decision renewing a previous order preventing the publication of any information, whatsoever, on the case that involves terror suspect Khaled Rabiee, which the court is currently examining. 

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