9 Journalists injured by the Jordanian security forces while reporting on protests demanding reform
Ten people were injured, most of whom were journalists, on Friday, during protests demanding reform in Jordan.
The Jordanian Gendarmerie security forces used batons to break up a clash between demonstrators and pro-government group at the entrance of “Palm Square“, in the Jordanian capital city of Amman, resulting in injuring nine journalists, as well as a female activist from the Islamic Action Front Party.
One of the attacked was a photojournalist working for France Press, who said: “We were beaten by security forces, even though we were wearing Press vests for identification, I wrongly assumed that they will protect us from the engagement.”
A policeman shouted at the photojournalists “photography is prohibited”, while the correspondent of “New York Times,” Karim Fahim, was beaten by a dozen security men during filming, as he reported.
In an act of protest against assaulting the journalist, The Chair of the Jordanian Press Syndicate, Tareq Momani, asked the journalists to take off their Press jackets, which identifies them as media professionals that were handed to them by the security forces earlier that Friday morning.
The Jordanian journalists went on strike for one hour today as an act of condemnation against the attacks and the violations of journalists’ rights in Jordan.
Director of Arab Women Media Watch in UK, Iqbal Tamimi, condemned the physical and verbal attacks against fellow journalists and demanded an urgent investigation that will hold those responsible for such bullying accountable. She also hailed the collective effort and the solidarity between all media professionals in Jordan, who shown commitment to their colleagues and profession by fighting for transparent ethical journalism’.
Editor-in-chief of Jordanian newspaper, Addustour, Mohammed El-tal said, the journalists strike is a message that they are all one body, they reject all forms of attacks against them. The work of the press is sacred, and it is impossible for a journalist to be part of any side of the equation“. El-tal called upon the security agencies to respect the mission of journalists, and appreciate the work of the press, which entails the duty to tell the truth, stressing that the attacks and restrictions against journalists are unjustified and unacceptable methods.
The editor-in-chief of Alghad newspaper, Fuad Abu Hijleh, said “I think the strike for an hour was just an attempt to deliver a clear message to all whom it may concern, that journalists are no longer able to accept abuse as normal routine that does not necessitate intervention”.
While Samir Hyari, the deputy of editor-in-chief of the Jordanian national newspaper “Alrai”, said “to stop working is an important message from all journalists in Jordan directed at the decision-makers, that all journalists will stand next to any colleague subjected to attack, and this stand is more informing than any article or news item that can be written on this occasion”