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Startseite Urgent Actions 2020 02 Minor on trial over social media posts
UA 015/20
Jordan
Aktiv seit 12. Februar 2020 | Noch 27 Tage Laufzeit
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12.02.2020: Corrections

The following corrections were made in the lead and in the model letter:

  • The trial starting date is 16 January 2020 not 16 January 2019
  • It's the Cybercrime Unit not Cybercrime Bureau

Sincere apologies for any inconvenience.

Minor on trial over social media posts

AI-Index: MDE 16/1793/2020

Tujan al-Bukhaiti is a 17-year-old Yemeni refugee in Jordan who is being tried over charges of «blasphemy» and «insulting religious feelings» over her social media posts. On 19 December 2019, she was called in for questioning by the Juvenile police following a report by the Jordanian Cybercrime Unit. Police took her statement without the presence of her lawyer and parents, violating her fair trial rights. Tujan al-Bukhaiti’s trial started on 16 January 2020, with three sessions adjourned so far. Charging Tujan is a violation to her constitutional right to freedom of expression and a contradiction to Jordan’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. If convicted, she could face one month in prison. Authorities must immediately drop all charges.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Tujan al-Bukhaiti is a 17-year-old Yemeni refugee being tried in Jordan on charges of «blasphemy» and «insulting religious figures» over her social media posts.

On 11 December 2019, Al Jazeera school, the school that Tujan al-Bukhaiti attends, summoned her from her classroom and threatened to expel her if she continued to post what they referred to as «beliefs that do not represent the school» on her social media. On 16 December 2019, the school barred Tujan al-Bukhaiti from attending classes after she refused the school ultimatum to either stop posting or transfer schools. On that day, she posted about the incident on her social media, explaining that the school had barred her from continuing classes. The school then published a statement on their official Facebook page denying Tujan al-Bukhaiti’s claims, saying that she «spreads toxic thoughts» among her fellow students. Tujan was not allowed to take her tests the following week.

Take action

  • Write an appeal in your own words or use the model letter below.
  • Please take action before 24 March 2020.
  • Preferred language: Arabic or English. You can also write in your own language.

Model letter

Your Excellency

Tujan al-Bukhaiti is a 17-year-old Yemeni refugee being tried over charges of «blasphemy» and «insulting religious feelings» over her social media posts expressing her opinion on religious and intellectual topics and sharing her father’s posts. On 19 December 2019, she was interrogated by the Juvenile Police following a report by the Jordanian Cybercrime Unit. Police forces took her statement without the presence of her lawyer and parents, violating her fair trial rights. During interrogation, the officer in charge opened her Facebook page and made insulting comments with regards to Tujan al-Bukhaiti’s family. Tujan al-Bukhaiti’s trial started on 16 January 2020, with three sessions adjourned so far. If convicted, she could face one month in prison.

Jordan has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and thus has an international obligation to respect, protect and fulfil the right to freedom of expression. Tujan al-Bukhaiti is being prosecuted under Article 11 of the 2015 cybercrime law that prohibits spreading allegedly defamatory content. However, Article 15 of the Jordanian constitution guarantees the right to freedom of expression. Therefore, criminalizing Tujan al-Bukhaiti’s social media posts would set a dangerous precedent curtailing that right.

Due to the ongoing proceedings, Tujan al-Bukhaiti has had to miss at least three days of school to attend her court hearings. Those court hearings were later adjourned because representatives of the Cybercrime Unit, the plaintiffs, did not attend. Tujan al-Bukhaiti was also forced to take her exams on different dates than her classmates because the administration would not allow her to take them.

I urge you to ensure that all charges against Tujan al-Bukhaiti are immediately dropped, as they constitute a violation to her right to freedom of expression.

Yours sincerely,

Appeals to

Minister of Justice Bassam al-Talhouni
Ministry of Justice
Amman, third round-about, 6040
1188
JORDAN

Email: info@moj.gov.jo

Salutation: Your Excellency

 

 

Copies to

Ambassade du Royaume Hachémite de Jordanie
Thorackerstrasse 3
3074 Muri b. Berne

Fax: 031 384 04 05
E-mail: berne@fm.gov.jo

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