EFF is deeply disturbed to hear of the stabbing of Jordanian blogger Enass Musallam on Monday in a suburb of the capital, Amman. Musallam is currently recovering in hospital and is in stable condition.
The 19-year-old university student and blogger's attack may have been in response to a blog post (in Arabic) she wrote on February 19 addressed to Jordan's Prince Hassan. In the post, Musallam criticized the Prince for comments he made about protesters in Amman's Palm Tree Square (rough translation: "If I came down to Palm Tree Square, I would sift the lot of you"). Musallam retorted:
My dear, Highness, do you really view us with such absurdity, that you think you can come down to our square any time you want and sift us! We are a people, not the children of palaces and our relatives are not royal highnesses and our names are not preceded by royal titles. But we have imbibed dignity from the soil of the nation. And we learned how to think and how to distinguish our minds from others, and how to become the elite without you doing us any favors. So by what right do you want to sift us, Your Highness?"
According to the Jordan Times, Musallam's colleague Fakher Daas claimed that the blogger's assailant was wearing a hood and gloves and "grabbed her from the back and stabbed her in the stomach." MENAFN reported that Musallam's assailant threatened to "kill her the next time" if she didn't stop blogging about political reforms in Jordan.
Musallam's attack may not have been random. On Tuesday, another political activist, 30-year-old Ibrahim Dmour, was reportedly attacked by three men with a paper cutter.
Although the Jordanian Parliament's Lower House Public Freedoms Committee denounced the attacks and urged for a full investigation, the Public Security Department (PSD) claimed that police investigation into the incident "indicated that Musallam was not attacked for her activism or her recent blog criticising a Royal family member."
EFF is glad to hear that an investigation is underway, but urges the PSD to consider the possible connections between these two cases. As the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has pointed out, attacks on journalists often go unsolved. According to CPJ, the impunity rate across the world remains "stubbornly high," hovering just below 90 percent.
We also wish both Musallam and Dmour a quick recovery.