Emirati courts have sentenced Jordanian journalist Tayseer Al-Najjar to 3 years imprisonment over ‘damaging the reputation of the UAE and it’s symbols’. He has also been fined 500,000 UAE dinars (equivalent to around $136,130) and is due to be deported back to Jordan after he serves his prison sentence.
The final decision came after he endured a lengthy and difficult pre-trial period, during which he has continuously been in and out of detention, barred from travelling to Jordan and held incommunicado for a period of time. The UAE first targeted Najjar back in 2014 after he published a facebook post criticising the Emirates and Egypt in their decision to destroy underground tunnels in Gaza during the 2014 war.
The 42-year-old was detained and charged under the UAE’s cybercrime law, Article 29 of which prohibits the publication of any online information ‘with intent to make sarcasm or damage the reputation, prestige or stature of the state or of its symbols.’
The Jordanian Foreign Ministry have expressed their support for Najjar, and published the following tweet following his sentence:
The Foreign ministry of Jordan will continue to pursue the case of Mr Najar and co-ordinate with his lawyer and the concerned Emirati powers in order to appeal the decision.
Tayseer Najar has also received an overwhelming number of supportive comments on social media from both Jordanians and Emiratis who are campaigning for his release. The hashtag #تيسير_النجار is currently trending in Jordan.
#تيسير_النجار— nida matar (@NidaMatar) March 15, 2017
التقدم ليس فقط في البنيان والاقتصاد ... التقدم في العقول و التشريعات والحريات والحقوق....وتقبل الرأي الآخر لا سحقه وقمعه
#تيسير_النجار— Fatima (@freedomdxb) March 12, 2017
حل ضيفاً علينا في الدولة ..
ويسبب رأي يُعتقل ؟؟
أدعوا الله أن يُفك أسره ليعود لأسرته و بلده ..