AVC Files A Lawsuit Against AmmanNet!

Not only has AmmanNet – now called Radio Al Balad – been banned from broadcasting the Lower House sessions after MP’s filed a lawsuit against it, but now the regulator, the Audio Visual Commission, has also filed a lawsuit against the station!

“We filed a lawsuit against Radio Al Balad almost two weeks ago, after a presenter working at the station read a comment insulting the Lower House on air. This is a stark violation of the law and it is unacceptable,” Commission Director General Husain Bani Hani told The Jordan Times on Wednesday. [source]

Wow. I mean the AVC has really been delivering some knock out blows to the media sector in Jordan these past few months. Not only did it act as JTV’s lawyer last August by banning the launch of ATV, but now the new law firm has taken the Lower House as its latest client. Talk about conflict of interest.

I used to think that between the mukhabarat and the media department at the Royal Court, that the whole big brother role was covered in Jordan. Apparently, the AVC has become the personification of that Orwellian theme:

…“We have a unit recording everything aired in the Kingdom around-the-clock. The insult was indeed read on the air and we have the recording,” Bani Hani stressed.

How this story continues to develop is pretty interesting. I have a feeling that the AVC lawsuit will end with a huge fine or a canceling of the Radio Al-Balad’s broadcasting license and that the MP’s lawsuit will somehow find its way to the State Security Court where the so-called “insult” will be given a “harming the dignity of the state” context, resulting in arrests. But that’s the worst case scenario.

The thing is: worst case scenarios have a way of becoming the most likely scenarios in Jordan.


  • Amazing … I think someone should shake up this AVC dept.

    1 thing, they steel news from my website,
    2nd thing, the ATV thingy.
    3rd thing, the rejected AmmanNet’s licenses for opening community radio stations in Zarqa and Jordan Valley (well, they didnt reject the jordan valley one yet, but it has been there for over a year and a half),

    and now this!

    what they want is just “heshek beshek” TV & Radio stations … quality less, and human less as well (mostly operated by low quality nonstop music).

    A Revolution should be made,
    maybe media in jordan is better than other countries in the region, but thats not a measure, we have a worse media seen that most of eastern european countries who never knew what’s freedom of speech before 15 years from now!

  • what was the insult exactly?
    I know we are either free or not, there is no semi free thing.
    But what was the thing said?
    I have in mind “The Jamil Al-Nimri incident” where in Al-Ghad there were news about Police calling some MP as a “witness”, taking into consideration that a rumor accused a MP.

    Where does the latest stand from the first?
    Isolated or somehow related?
    Who classifies an insult, or a necessity to call as witness?

    At least filing a court case is a step forward then an adminstritve decision to close them down, some may argue that its the same. To me -procedural-, puts things in better perspectives.

  • Jordanians are not entirely free to express their opinions,articles of the penal code criminalize speech slandering public officials,NO freedom of Expression.

  • nasim: “quality less, and human less as well (mostly operated by low quality nonstop music).” i think this is an interesting point that i’ve observed as well. the only way to get a radio license these days is to NOT talk about anything at all. just music. and if you do talk, well there are strict talking points to adhere to and anyone that listens for 10 minutes to any of the talk radio stations will realize what they are

    ahmad: i dont know what the insult was but i think even ammanNet have been digging in their archives to find it. it will be all the more interesting when it’s revealed. it could be absolutely anything when it comes to comments left on a site.

    hamede: here here

  • I have been waiting something like this for a while now, Radio Al balad has proved to present a very decent political station that seriously discuss politics and reflects people worries with no corrupted coverage that cover this or that crap or beautify the government image(even though its not that professional technically at points).

    Last Saturday show by yousef Ghieshan and Sho Hal ayyam on poverty and prices raise exceeded all allowed lines for criticizing the government, honestly i didnt expect any of them to go home safe that night. In jordan you are allowed to criticize people, certain figures, just do some bla bla here and there, but criticize professionally and seek to change all the crap we are doomed to live in, then no, no one will get this privilege.

  • Serve you right Daoud Kuttab.
    Feel free to stop sucking up any moment now.

    “I asked the King when Jordanians would be able to listen to privately owned local radio. The King seemed ready for my question and answered without hesitation, “privatizing radio and television will take place in two or three years.” True to his words, three years later, the King signed an audiovisual law that allowed private ownership of radio and television frequencies.
    Jordan today has many privately owned radio stations and has witnessed reform on various levels.”

    By Daoud Kuttab
    Guest Columnist / Bald-faced liar
    February 29th, 2008

    Does this piece make Jordan seem like a media-haven with multiple radio and TV stations warranted complete freedom to operate? Or does it sound like a country where independent TV station projects unceremoniously evaporate and where the head of the parliament feels completely comfortable threatening journalists ?

    Hey, at least we are all looking good in front of Princeton folks.

  • Laila: I think that as conditions continue to worsen economically and financially for the average Jordanian, then the average Jordanian will be more inclined to speak up. It’ll be a more critical point where unhinged words become the last and only resort. We’ll probably here an increase in criticism in the coming months when the 50JD raises they gave public sector employees begins to lose its value right around ramadan.

  • “We’ll probably here an increase in criticism in the coming months when the 50JD raises they gave public sector employees begins to lose its value right around ramadan.”

    That’s when we hit them with ANOTHER 50JDs to keep their mouths shut.
    Ha3 Ha3 haaa3. We are always a step ahead you fool …. (laughter fading)

    [Of course not before the prices are doubled again. After all we have “investors” and (….) partners who need to compete in international wealth lists]…Sorry… we are just here to serve and protect…

  • The parliament dissolved hay2at tantheem qe6a3 al-kahraba yesterday, this might be the AVC’s way of sucking up to the parliament so as to not get dissolved it too (yeah right).

    I think the King should really step in and give some folks an earful about these committees. The AVC being the worst, but the public transportation committee as well. These committees seem to only create beurucratic overhead and seek attention by harrassing everyone while not really benefitting the country much.

    By the way, the higher courts rejected TAG’s appeal today as reported on Ammon’s web site. Says a lot about our courts I think, but then again we already have more than a dozen honor crimes every year to indicate just what kind of justice to expect in Jordan.

  • I just wish the Parliamenterians would get on with their jobs as representatives of the people and actually turn up in the House to vote. 84 out of 110 were present to vote on an energy bill. Not knowing what the insult was supposed to be it is difficult to judge, but I wonder who would have noticed if no-one had said anything. T

  • This is beyond shocking!!!
    If a lower house, a representative house, can not accept criticism from the people it claims to represent, then why is it there in the first place?!?!?! This is too ridiculous to comprehend …

    Oh and prepare to be shocked even further: with regards to the very selective privatisation of our media (encouraging the privatisation of music stations while blocking socio-political stations) there is actually a law, called the audio visual law, which stipulates that any outlet that wants to transmit news or political information needs to pay 50% more taxes than a channel that wants to transmit music and entertainment …!!!!

  • من ناحيه اخرى فقد فاجأ النائب الثاني لرئيس مجلس النواب تيسير شديفات الحضور عندما كشف عن وجود تفكير جدي في مجلس النواب لمنع الصحفين من حضور الجلسات وتغطيتها اسوه بمجلس الاعيان وذلك ردا حسب ما يقول( على بعض الاساءات والانتقادات التي تصدر في بعض الصحف حول تأخر انعقاد الجلسات وغياب النواب .

    From: http://sarayanews.com/default.asp?mode=more&NewsID=2586&catID=39

    Another dimension in the construct of mas7’ara!

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