Proposed changes to a national cybercrimes law will deal a devastating blow to freedom of expression in Jordan, Amnesty International has warned, ahead of a review of the country’s human rights record at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva tomorrow.
The amendments include criminalizing hate speech using an overly broad definition of the offence and introducing tougher penalties, including lengthier prison terms for online crimes. A vote to pass these changes can be scheduled at any time.
“The proposed changes to Jordan’s already flawed cybercrimes law are extremely worrying. Instead of taking steps to protect people’s rights online the authorities appear to be moving backwards, introducing changes that would further suppress freedom of expression,” said Heba Morayef, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Director.
“The Jordanian authorities should be working to eliminate all repressive elements from the current cybercrimes law to bring it in line with international law, not expanding them to further restrict people’s online activities.”