AMMAN — Jordan’s
Cybercrime Law for 2023 has sparked criticism from civil society organizations,
citing potential impacts on political reform and democratic values. The draft
law includes 51 penalties, with 48 leading to possible arrests, drawing
attention to flaws in its formulation and lack of clear criminalization.
legislation features eight felonies and 40 misdemeanors, with penalties ranging
from temporary labor to fines up to JD75,000 or imprisonment. It grants
authorities the right to be protected, raising worries about stifling criticism
of public figures. The law also holds website administrators liable for illegal
content posted by external individuals, challenging the principle of personal
accountability, Amman Net reported.
Critics’ concerns and
concerns over the absence of an evaluation of the law’s impact on society, the
economy, and constitutional freedoms; while fearing an increase in criminal
cases disproportionately affecting the poor with hefty fines.
Many call for
extensive dialogue, economic and social impact assessments, and revaluation of
harsh penalties to ensure proportionality. Freedom of expression and internet
browsing provisions require scrutiny to align with international standards.
Civil society groups like the Justice Center for Legal Aid and Jordan
Open-Source Association advocate for comprehensive discussions to preserve
constitutional rights and equitable sentencing.
Protests and US
concerns over draft law
Amidst the growing
opposition, Jordanians participated in a protest against the draft law after
Friday prayers, while the US Embassy in Amman expressed concerns about its
potential implications on freedom of expression and information sharing.
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