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Jordan releases writer who criticised the king

September 14, 2022 at 9:58 am

Jordanian opposition writer Adnan Al-Rousan [@SabriM01/Twitter]

A court in the Jordanian capital Amman yesterday released opposition writer Adnan Al-Rousan on bail, his lawyer said.

AFP reported that Assem Al-Omari said the court agreed to release his 71-year-old client on bail of 1,000 dinars ($1,400).

Al-Rousan’s trial began in August after he was charged for publishing two Facebook posts in which he criticised King Abdullah II and government officials.

Al-Rousan was charged with “incitement and sowing division”, “broadcasting false news that undermines state prestige, defaming an official body and humiliating a public official.”

In one of the posts, Al-Rousan wrote that Jordanians “are silent and stifled by anger, waiting for the king to reform himself and abandon festivals, films, trips and conferences and focus on the country.”

“This is your legal duty towards the Jordanians, O King. You have been entrusted to satisfy [ citizens’] hunger, cover their nakedness, secure their craft, protect their honour and morals, and not rise above the Earth too high,” he added.

In another post, Al-Rousan said the sons and daughters of government ministers, prime ministers and officials should be treated as ordinary citizens.

Jordan is suffering from difficult economic conditions, exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. In 2021 unemployment rates rose to about 25 per cent, according to official figures, rising to 50 per cent among the youth.

The poverty rate has also increased to 24 per cent, and public debt exceeded $51 billion, more than 110.6 per cent of GDP, in the middle of 2022.

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