Jordan Daily – His Majesty King Abdullah on Tuesday reaffirmed Jordan’s commitment to political and media pluralism, adding that the Kingdom was never an oppressive country and will never be one, and its history is testament to that, according to the Royal Court.
At a meeting with the president and members of the National Center for Human Rights’ (NCHR) board of trustees and the Jordan Press Association (JPA) president at Al Husseiniya Palace, King Abdullah said he directed the government to review the draft law guaranteeing access to information, to ensure everyone’s right of timely access to correct and accurate information, which contributes to countering rumors and false news.
Turning to discussions of the Cybercrime Law, His Majesty said combating cybercrimes should not be at the expense of Jordanians’ right to express their opinion and criticize public policies.
The King said all are in agreement that countering offenses on social media platforms that violate laws and morals is a necessity.
His Majesty said implementation of the Cybercrime Law will be the decisive factor in evaluating it and revising some of its provisions, as is the case with other legislation.
The King reaffirmed seriousness in implementing the political, economic, and administrative modernization tracks, stressing that Jordan is committed to these steps and is moving forward firmly, in cooperation with all state institutions and citizens, and there is no going back.
His Majesty added that Jordan will witness parliamentary elections next year with wide-scale partisan participation, which is testament to the Kingdom’s commitment to political modernization as a necessity despite some of the skepticism expressed by certain parties.
Turning to the NCHR, the King said it is a pivotal national institution with an important role in promoting human rights, calling for maintaining efforts in this direction.
For her part, the chairperson of the NCHR’s board of trustees, Samar Al Haj Hassan, said the center is an independent national point of reference entrusted with enhancing human rights, evaluating the status of human rights in Jordan in all fields, and receiving complaints.
She added that the center will assess the legislative impact of the Cybercrime Law and will send its recommendations to the government, the judiciary, and civil society organizations to improve the legislative ecosystem in case there is a need to amend the law in the future.
Al Haj Hassan pointed to the NCHR’s role in promoting democracy, freedom of expression, and access to information, especially in line with political modernization efforts, and in light of preparations for the upcoming elections and enhancing youth participation.
Based on the NCHR’s duty to spread awareness on human rights, the center will hold activities for youth to clarify the Cybercrime Law and the need to organize the cyberspace, while protecting their right to self-expression and active political participation, according to Al Haj Hassan.
She outlined the center’s work towards enhancing human rights awareness in curricula, with a focus on highlighting the right to self-expression.
Members of the NCHR’s board of trustees highlighted the need to protect individuals and society by regulating the cyberspace and guaranteeing that freedom of expression is not abused to harm others through clear safeguards.
They added that political, economic, and administrative modernization will not be realized without these safeguards to ensure a healthy discourse, noting that the state must protect society from extremism and chaos, while safeguarding citizens’ right to self-expression.
In addition, they highlighted the role of the judiciary in protecting the rights of individuals and society.
For his part, JPA President Rakan Saaideh said the association supports responsible and objective self-expression based on facts, not rumors and agenda-driven disinformation, adding that the JPA does not support character assassination or defamation of the state, its institutions, or public servants, and does not tolerate offences under any circumstances.
He said the Cybercrime Law must be reviewed if any issues emerge with implementation in the future.
Saaideh called for facilitating the flow of information from public institutions to stop the spread of chaos on social media platforms, highlighting the need to improve communication between public institutions and civil society organizations.
Royal Hashemite Court Chief Yousef Issawi and Director of the Office of His Majesty Jafar Hassan attended the meeting.