The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) have called on Jordanian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release independent Syrian journalist Ibrahim Awad. The organizations made this request from Jordan to “allow journalists to do their work freely and without fear of reprisal.”
#Jordan: RSF calls for the immediate release of Ibrahim Awwad, a Syrian freelance journalist based in the Jordanian capital, Amman, who was arrested last week and is now threatened with being sent back to Syria.
— RSF (@RSF_inter) November 23, 2021
“News reports stated that four Jordanian police and intelligence officers raided Awad’s house in the Tla’ al-Ali neighborhood of Amman, the Jordanian capital, on November 15th. The officers confiscated Awad’s laptop, two cell phones, and an iPad, while also detaining him,” CPJ said in a statement.
“The journalist spoke to CPJ on Tuesday, through an application that allows messages to be sent from the Azraq refugee camp, where he is being held,” the statement read. CPJ noted that Awad was initially detained at the Directorate of General Intelligence’s headquarters for two hours, where he underwent a COVID-19 test. He was then transferred to the city security directorate, where the officers took his fingerprints, and then transferred him to the Security Directorate’s office in Zarqa, 80 kilometers outside Amman.
The CPJ said that, on the morning of November 17th, Jordanian security forces transferred Awad on the morning to the refugee camp in central-eastern Jordan (as reported by the journalist himself). Awad noted that his transfer document indicated that he was forbidden from leaving the camp and that the authorities had not offered any reason for his arrest, nor brought any charges against him.
“The officers who raided Awad’s house presented a search warrant, which was issued by the State Security Court, but they did not inform him of the reasons for his arrest,” Awad was quoted as saying, noting that he had been living in Jordan for several years and had a wife and children in Amman.
Awad works in Jordan as an independent journalist covering human rights, the Syrian conflict, and violations by al-Assad’s regime forces.
“It is shameful that the Jordanian authorities detained Syrian journalist Ibrahim Awad, without disclosing his alleged crimes. The Jordanian authorities should disclose any charges against Awad or release him immediately and unconditionally,” said Ignacio Miguel Delgado, CPJ’s representative in the Middle East and North Africa.
Remarks by the Syrian Observer: Jordan, previously a supporter of the Syrian opposition, has been pursuing a policy of rapprochement and normalization with the Assad regime. More on this here.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.