Jordanian journalist Ahmed Mohsen detained for covering pro-Gaza protests amid crackdown

Jordanian journalist Ahmed Mohsen detained for covering pro-Gaza protests amid crackdown
Ahmed Mohsen, a photojournalist, was arrested for covering pro-Gaza protests in Jordan and has been held in detention for nearly two weeks.
2 min read
12 April, 2024
Jordanian authorities have arrested scores of pro-Gaza protesters, earning ire from rights groups.

A Jordanian photojournalist, Ahmed Mohsen, has been arrested for his coverage of pro-Gaza protests amid a government crackdown on the demonstrations, his employer announced on Tuesday.

Mohsen, a 25-year-old photographer for the independent Jordanian publication 7iber, was arrested on 30 March while reporting on protests in front of the Israeli embassy in Amman.

He has been held in prison without any charges being levelled against him and has not been allowed bail.

"We demand an end to this detention and the release of our colleague Ahmed so that he can spend the blessed Eid al-Fitr with his family and loved ones," 7iber said in a statement on Tuesday.

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Protests have been ongoing in front of the Israeli embassy since 24 March, with demonstrators demanding an end to the 1994 peace treaty between Jordan and Israel and to all commercial relations between the two countries.

Jordan's government has responded to protests with arrests, particularly of activists and journalists. At least 200 have been arrested since the beginning of the demonstrations three weeks prior.

Amnesty International on Thursday called on Jordan to stop its crackdown on pro-Gaza protests and called the detention of activists as illegal.

Authorities also arrested three journalists and intimidated several others while they covered demonstrations, according to the rights organisation Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

"The arrest of a number of journalists/photographers is a clear sign that they may be targeted. I call on them to stop harassing journalists and ensure that they can work freely without any restrictions or harassment," Mohammad Shamaa, the Jordan correspondent for RSF, told The New Arab.

Journalists have faced arrest, calls from security officials, intimidation attempts, and some have been made to sign a pledge that they will not attend future protests, Shamaa said.

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The Jordanian government has been consistent in its call for a ceasefire in Gaza, where Israel's war on Gaza in response to Hamas's surprise 7 October attack has killed over 33,000 Palestinians.

Still, protesters have demanded a complete cut-off in relations with Israel, which it has said is helped by Jordanian agricultural products and the transport of goods from the Gulf through Jordanian territory.

Before the current round of protests in late March, the Jordanian government had previously arrested likely hundreds of Jordanians for their participation in pro-Palestine protests or activism.