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Jordan ex-MP sentenced to prison for sending 'slanderous' e-mail to US senator

[JURIST] A military court in Jordan [JURIST news archive] Tuesday sentenced Dr. Ahmad Oweidi al-Abbadi [advocacy website], a former member of parliament and head of the Jordanian National Movement [party website], to two years in prison after convicting him on charges that included slandering officials, harming the government's reputation, and violating government laws regarding e-mail practices. The charges stem from an e-mail letter [DOC text] sent by al-Abaddi and Dr. Abdul Salam Al-Mualla, Secretary of Foreign Affairs for the Jordanian National Movement, to US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [official website] in May in which the authors denounced the "corrupt regime" of King Abdullah II [official website]. Al-Abbadi was subsequently arrested [LA Times report; case backgrounder] for sending the allegedly slanderous e-mail. Al-Abbadi can appeal Tuesday's ruling.

In May, Human Rights Watch urged the Jordanian government [press release] to free al-Abbadi, arguing it should not rely on laws that curb free speech and violate international human rights standards. Reporters Without Borders has also condemned [press release] Jordan for detaining al-Abbadi. AP has more.

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