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Jordan¹s Expulsion of Free Press Advocate

WAN Protests Against Jordan¹s Expulsion of Free Press Advocate

The World Association of Newspapers has condemned the expulsion of Egyptian free press advocate Gamal Eid from Jordan, where he was to take part in organisational meetings for a training course for journalists.

Mr Eid, Executive Director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, was detained for six hours, prevented from entering Jordan, and deported to Egypt on 15 December. He arrived in Jordan from Beirut, Lebanon, after participating in WAN¹s Arab Free Press Forum.

³Mr Eid¹s expulsion once again shows that Jordanian authorities do not respect freedom of expression, despite their assertions to the contrary,² WAN said in a statement. ³If Jordan truly supports press freedom, the authorities must stop harassing people merely for the Œcrime¹ of speaking their minds.²

WAN, which represents 18,000 newspapers world-wide, called on Jordanian King Abdallah II to ensure that the authorities respect freedom of expression. The King has been quoted as saying, ³freedom of expression in Jordan is limited only by the sky.²

Mr Eid contends he was deported because he has criticised the state of freedom of expression in Jordan, and because he refused to pay a bribe to be allowed to enter the country, where he was to take part in preparatory meetings for a training course for journalists.

Mr Eid has criticised Jordan¹s lack of freedom of expression in a 2006 speech in Amman during a conference on media freedom in the Arab world.

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The Paris-based WAN, the global organisation for the newspaper industry, defends and promotes press freedom and the professional and business interests of newspapers world-wide. Representing 18,000 newspapers, its membership includes 77 national newspaper associations, newspaper companies and individual newspaper executives in 102 countries, 12 news agencies and 11 regional and world-wide press groups.

ENDS

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