Jordanian youth activist Rakan Hiasat imprisoned for 15 days for political expression

Photo: Rakan Hiasat, Facebook

Jordanian youth activist Rakan Hiasat is currently imprisoned for 15 days because of a parliamentarian’s complaint that he posted a critical cartoon about her political positions. Hiasat, an activist with the leftist Wihda Party (Jordanian People’s Democratic Unity Party), is one of the foremost student and youth activists against normalization with Israel in Jordan; he was one of the organizers of a planned protest against the Jordanian “gas deal” with the Israeli occupation in the coming days when he was arrested.

He is imprisoned on a complaint by Jordanian MP Dima Tahboub because he posted a political cartoon depicting her as an ancient warrior on a horse carrying a sword after she supported security personnel invading student spaces and cracking down on restaurants serving food during Ramadan. Tahboub is known for her advocacy of right-wing political positions in Jordan, including arguing for the banning of musical concerts by Mashrou’ Leila.

Tahboub also pursued charges against two young women and three university students for “liking” or “sharing” the cartoon on Facebook, who are currently being investigated for potential “electronic crimes.”

Dr. Fakhir Daas of the Wihda Party said that it was absurd for Tahboub to file complaints against Jordanian citizens, as she is a public figure and a member of parliament who will be criticized by the public.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network denounces the jailing of Rakan Hiasat and the investigation of young people for “electronic crimes” for posting on Facebook and demand his immediate release. We extend our full solidarity and support to the movement against the Jordanian-Israeli gas deal of which he is a leader and join the call for the immediate cancellation of this deal for stolen Palestinian natural resources.