Ironic Jordanian Sentences

A Jordanian court has sentenced a French national of Palestinian origin to three months in jail for slandering King Abdullah. The court was told Muntaser Shehab became abusive after a row at a five-star hotel in the capital, Amman. [source]

Ah! To be convicted of lesé majesté. Note, that he was originally given a year but because he’s a French national, he recieved three months. It’s interesting how you can still be sentenced for slandering the King if you carry a foreign nationality/passport, but get less time than an average Jordanian.

Long live the King.

(and the shattered pieces of promised freedoms)

AMMAN – The Criminal Court on Tuesday sentenced a 30-year-old woman to death after convicting her of stabbing her husband to death on April 20, 2007. The tribunal declared the woman, a mother of four, guilty of the premeditated murder of her husband at their home in Irbid and handed her the maximum punishment.

Court papers said the defendant was involved in extramarital affairs and her husband of 11 years discovered them and threatened to tell her family.

Fearing a scandal, the defendant decided to kill her husband and secured a knife for this purpose, according to the court verdict. [source]

In this case it was premeditated, but what if the story had gone the other way around as it so often does in Jordan? What if the husband, upon discovering she was having an affair, decided to kill her in a “moment of rage”? He would likely get a few months, or years at the most, since it would be deemed an honor crime.

So I wonder: what if she had killed him in that same “moment of rage”: would she still get the death sentence?

Things that make you go hmm.


  • Minister Kamal Nasser said the other day that you simply cannot criticize the ‘dooleh’ which translates to the monarchy, really. He said it bluntly and I blogged about it. By the same token, you can’t criticize the constitution for the most part because it says so many things about the monarchy.

    That said, we all know what most people say behind closed doors. That guy got arrested for saying it out loud, the verdict will not change the fact that people think what they think.

  • “the verdict will not change the fact that people think what they think.” well, at least until the ministry of thought is established. that’ll be a sight to see.

  • For the second story, that is an outrage. We have seen it the other direction too many times and now the woman gets a stronger sentence. That is the ultimate hypocrisy. What a sad state of affairs.

  • So when you said “Long Live the King” did you mean it in the traditional sense or in “That 70’s Show’s” sense? I would go with the latter, perfectly in order here

  • I don’t understand how a person so highly educated, so modern and supposedly open-minded like our king can sit well on the throne with such laws in effect in his country. He has the power to remove such laws, but he doesn’t, and that is a great disapointment.

    I think by allowing such things to take place, though a leader in his position wins some extra amount of power, he loses a little bit of something else: respect.

    Now, what do you think of a country the leaders of which choose power over respect in some cases (I’m not saying all)?

  • you know what the saddest thing is … that this is actually good … 1 yr reduced to 3 months reduced to a fine is actually GOOD …
    most other arab countries the guy would have at most disappeared or at least spent the night in a small cell getting his ass whooped then be made to sign a paper before getting released the next morning …

    but after reading this story … i think i need to work on getting me a decent foreign passport … so the authorities know not to f with me 😀

  • So what are my limitations now, Im kinda confused? Can I slander the goevrnment as much as I want without slandering the King or what excatly, can someone clear things for me?
    I wonder why that woman killed her husband, was he abusing her?
    anyways double standards is just everywhere in Jordan, I see it at my work that is suppose to be a very reputable company!

  • A couple of years back in a military education class in JU (Thaqafa 3askareyya) the officer went on to say that anyone who slanders the king would get 6 months in prison, then a student asked what if one curses at God?

    After the laughing stopped the officer said 6 months also! (I am yet to hear of that, have you?)

    As for the other woman I think that’s all fair! I mean the idea of a “moment of rage” is for the murder to be in that moment! Not after it. I mean if the woman caught her husband cheating on her and she killed him immediately that would’ve been an “honor crime” at least that’s how I understand it, but to actually have the time to plan the murder that’s premeditated however you look at it…

Your Two Piasters: