Jordan: Yemeni teenager “not guilty” over speech charges
On 28 July 2020, the Jordanian criminal court deemed Tujan al-Bukhaiti, “not guilty” over charges of “blasphemy” and “insulting religious feelings” in relation to her social media posts. Tujan had been on trial over a lengthy period of eight months after the Jordanian Cybercrime Unit filed a complaint against her Facebook posts discussing religious and cultural issues.
NO FURTHER ACTION IS REQUESTED. MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO SENT APPEALS.
On 28 July 2020, the Jordanian Juvenile court deemed 17-year-old Yemeni refugee Tujan al-Bakhaiti “not guilty” over charges of “blasphemy” and “insulting religious feelings”, in relation to her social media posts discussing religious and cultural issues. The decision is still open for appeal.
Tujan al-Bukhaiti’s trial started on 16 January 2020 and lasted eight months including during the school year. On 19 December 2019, she was called in for questioning by the Juvenile police following a report by the Jordanian Cybercrime Unit. Police interrogated her without the presence of her lawyer and parents, violating her fair trial rights.
Tujan expressed to Amnesty International her thanks to everyone who participated in the urgent action saying:
“The verdict is preliminary and is open for appeal. While the court has deemed me not guilty, it has also decided that what I shared on my social media does ‘insult religious feelings’. This means the danger is not over. Despite being deemed not guilty, this case has become bigger than a few court sessions. After the school published a statement accusing me of spreading toxic opinions insulting religious feelings, I remain, along with my mother and family, a target for harassment and intimidation by individuals and groups. I thank Amnesty International for its continuous efforts in the many stages of this case.”
Amnesty International will continue to monitor Tujan’s case who remains at risk of re-trial in case of appeal, and of harassment and intimidation by individuals and groups who oppose her views.