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ANHRI condemns attacks on media outlets, failure of security forces to provide protection

(ANHRI/IFEX) - 16 November 2011 - ANHRI condemns recent attacks on media freedom in Jordan. A group of protestors stormed Aljazeera's office in Amman the day after the headquarters of the Jordanian newspaper "Al-Ghad" were attacked. "Al-Ghad" also faced attempts to prevent it from being distributed.

Most recently, a group of Jordanian citizens organized a demonstration outside the office of Aljazeera in Amman on Saturday, 12 November, to deliver a message to the director of office. As a result of his refusal to receive it, a group of the protesters, who oppose the channel's policies, broke into the office by force. They broke into the offices of the staff as well and, according to officials at the channel, attacked the Chief Financial Officer.

Moreover, the Jordanian newspaper "Al-Ghad" was attacked by unidentified persons on Friday 11 November in an attempt to prevent its distribution because of a story published in that day's issue. The story was about a commission of inquiry on a ship called Al-Soor that escaped from Aqaba port. The assailants stormed the headquarters of the newspaper and assaulted the employees, breaking a leg of one of the distributors.

"Those attacks on 'Al-Ghad' and Al-Jazeera by civilians are a way of intervening in their policies and preventing them from publishing certain stories. It is a form of censorship and restriction on media freedoms for which the Jordanian authorities should bear the responsibility of protection," said ANHRI.

"The Jordanian security services are responsible for their inaction, passivity and non-response to these illegal attacks. The security forces were present when the newspaper was attacked and remained unresponsive. Therefore, the Jordanian authorities should bring those responsible for the unlawful attacks on media outlets to justice and should launch a fair and transparent investigation into the incidents," added ANHRI.

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