Jordan bill criminalizing religious defamation approved in upper house Joshua Pantesco at 1:15 PM ET
[JURIST] The upper house of the Jordanian parliament [official website] on Wednesday approved a bill that imposes stiff fines for journalists who defame any religion protected under the country's constitution [text] - i.e. Islam, Christianity or Judaism - or "offending the prophets" by writing or cartoons. The upper house dropped a controversial provision, approved by the lower house [JURIST report] earlier this month, that would have subjected journalists to jail time for the offenses. Other crimes under the bill include insulting "religious sentiments and beliefs, fueling sectarian strife or racism," and slandering or libeling any person. The Jordanian Press Association [official website] criticized the earlier version of the bill for weakening press freedom. AP has more.
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