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King says journalists should not be jailed for their work

(IFJ/IFEX) - The following is an IFJ media release:

IFJ Welcomes King's Opposition to Jailing Journalists in Jordan

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today welcomed the King of Jordan's expression of support for press freedom after he said that journalists should not be jailed for their work.

"His Majesty's statement reinforcing his opposition to the jailing of journalists is a very significant step for press freedom in the kingdom," said IFJ General Secretary Aidan White.

At a meeting with top newspaper editors last Sunday, King Abdullah said he opposed the jailing of journalists. The Press and Publication Law passed in 2007 by the country's parliament abolished jail sentences for press offences but some journalists have still been sentenced to jail under other legislation such as the Penal Code. The Press and Publication Law provides for excessive fines that have a crippling effect on the media.

The Jordanian Press Association (JPA), an IFJ affiliate, played a significant role in the negotiations leading to the decriminalisation of the Jordan media law through a constructive engagement with parliament.

"The IFJ joins the JPA in calling for the reform of outstanding laws which allow the jailing of journalists in Jordan," White added.

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide.

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