It’s a scary time to be a journalist in Jordan these days. Working in the media sector, my feeling is that semi-independent media is making an attempt of becoming more liberalized, and the state response to such efforts has not been kind. It seems we are now leaving the era of the standard verbal harassment, state censorship and inevitably forced self-censorship, and into a darker realm of physical intimidation. It’s a scary time.
AMMAN – His Majesty King Abdullah has denounced a recent attack on a prominent columnist and TV host.
In a phone call yesterday with Jamil Nimri, a writer for Al Ghad daily and a host of a political talk show on Jordan TV, the King said journalistsâ€™ safety is a â€œred lineâ€¦We will not accept that they be assaultedâ€.
â€œHis Majesty told me that he instructed the security apparatus to investigate and uncover the assailants and those supporting them,â€ Nimri told The Jordan Times later in the day.
Expressing his appreciation for the Kingâ€™s gesture, Nimri said it carried a direct message to those who would think of assaulting journalists for doing their job. He pointed out that Prime Minister Nader Dahabi also called him last week and assured him that a police taskforce was working on the case to arrest the culprit.
Last week, an unidentified assailant attacked the journalist with a sharp tool at the latterâ€™s doorstep. The columnist suffered a superficial wound to his face. According to Nimri the attacker jumped into a car where two people were waiting for him, and managed to escape.
In a previous statement to The Jordan Times, Nimri did not rule out that the incident was related either to his TV show or to articles he wrote in his newspaper. [source]