Reporters Without Borders is extremely concerned about a series of attacks, threats and demonstrations since mid-June targeting the Agence France-Presse bureau in Amman and its chief, Randa Habib.
“The protests against AFP in Amman have taken a disturbing turn, with the demonstrators using threats and violence,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Intimidation attempts of this kind, which hamper the work of journalists, are unacceptable. We call on Yehya Saud, the parliamentarian behind the protests, to stop this harassment. And we will hold the government to the pledge it gave today to end the violence against the media.”
Saud organized a demonstration yesterday outside the French embassy in Amman to call for the AFP bureau’s closure and Habib’s resignation. The day before, she organized a protest outside the AFP bureau, at which Habib was called a “creator of lies” and the Jordanian prime minister was given 24 hours to have her fired and taken before a military court. Around 10 people tried to force their way into the bureau.
In all there have been five demonstrations outside the AFP bureau and the French embassy, as well as repeated direct threats against Habib and attacks on premises. On 15 June, around 10 men forced their way into the AFP bureau and destroyed furniture and equipment. The authorities are investigating but so far with no results.
The anger against AFP was triggered by a 13 June report of an attack on the king’s motorcade, which was immediately denied by the government.