Assault victim’s family to sue police for defamation
Jordan is putting out disinformation. Ted Belman
by Rana Husseini | Feb 23,2012 | 23:23
Enas Musallam was near Darat Al Funun in the upscale Amman neighbourhood at around 7:00pm when a man wearing a hood and gloves reportedly grabbed her from the back and stabbed her in the stomach.
The attacker allegedly threatened “to kill her the next time” if she did not stop her blogging on political reforms in Jordan.
Musallam, a fourth year student at the University of Jordan majoring in management information systems, had written a response on her blog to statements made by HRH Prince Hassan in an interview with Jordan Television’s “Sixty Minutes” programme last Friday, in which he criticised “the 30 or 40 demonstrators who head to Al Nakheel Square to demonstrate”.
Musallam wrote a statement in Arabic on her blog addressed to Prince Hassan, criticising him for “underestimating the minds and abilities of the Jordanian people”.
Musallam’s family and colleagues had hinted that the attack “might have been related to her blog”.
However, the PSD issued an official statement on Wednesday night saying their investigation into the incident indicated that Musallam was not attacked for her activism or her recent blog post criticising a Royal family member.
The PSD also said that Musallam had made contradictory statements about the attack to investigators and people who visited her at hospital.
The statement said the victim had recently had several disagreements with her fellow activists and other close friends, including a man with whom she was engaged in a relationship, and also said that “Enas was going through difficult times.”
“We are planning to file a lawsuit against the PSD for their statement and the false accusations they have made about my daughter. The Public Freedoms Committee at the Jordan Bar Association has volunteered to represent us in court,” said Musallam’s mother, Noor Turkumani.
“This is a public freedoms issue and we are shocked at the PSD’s statement, especially as the investigation is still ongoing and no one has been arrested in the incident,” Turkumani added.
“The family has received support from all political parties in the country and from people from all parts of Jordan and for this my daughter’s spirits are really high,” Musallam’s mother noted.
She told The Jordan Times that her daughter remains in hospital in good condition.
Meanwhile, the National Centre for Human Rights (NCHR) issued a statement condemning the attack on Musallam and on another activist in Karak on Tuesday night.
Political activist Ibrahim Dmour, 30, was leaving his house at around 7:00pm in Karak when he was reportedly approached by three hooded men who slashed his back with a paper cutter.
“The centre is following both incidents with great concern, especially as the government is obliged to ensure peaceful freedom of speech and citizens’ rights to dignity and physical safety,” the NCHR statement said.
The centre added that the PSD is “now expected to enforce the law and exert its utmost effort to arrest the perpetrators in both incidents and to ensure the victims’ safety and protection from any defamation or threats”.