Jordanian Blogger Stabbed After Criticizing Royal Family Member
Freedom House is deeply concerned by the stabbing of female Jordanian blogger Enass Musallam in Amman, Jordan on Monday, February 21 after she allegedly criticized a member of the royal family in her blog. She currently is in a stable condition. According to the Jordan Times, a man reportedly stabbed Musallam in the stomach and threatened to kill her if she did not stop blogging about political reform in Jordan. The assault followed a blog post by Musallam, in which she criticized Jordan's Prince Hassan for disdainful comments he made about protesters in Amman's Palm Tree Square. In its initial investigation, Jordan's Public Security Department denied that the attack was related to the blog post or her activism. Freedom House urges authorities to conduct a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding Musallam’s stabbing and to consider the possible connections between this incident and the stabbing of political activist, Ibrahim Dmour, which occurred only several hours after Musallam was stabbed.
While the government approved a code of conduct several years ago with the intention of fostering a “free and independent media,” journalists still are closely watched by intelligence agencies and have been harassed. A group of men attacked the Jordanian bureau of Agence-France Presse on June 15, storming into the office and destroying furniture. The attack came a day after protesters demanded the bureau close its doors due to “inaccurate reporting” during King Abdullah II’s visit to a southern Jordanian town. Several Jordanian websites, including Al Sawt News Website, also reported being blocked by telecom companies.