Ahmad Oweidi's Website Hacked?

الأربعاء 05 أيلول 2007

Written By: Naseem Tarawnah

Former MP Ahmad Oweidi who is currently in Jweidah prison, claims that hackers illegally infiltrated his website and used it. Oweidi is in prison for writing an open letter to US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, accusing many high-ranking officials in Jordan of corruption. He then posted the letter on his party’s website: the Jordan National Movement. So he’s being tried for slander.

According a Jordan Times article:

Testifying for the prosecution, Firas Noureddine Abu Gharbeih, director of the applications and IT department at Batelco, told the court that “Jeeran” was the host company of the website on which the information was published.

Abbadi subscribed to the company’s Internet services in March 2006 and signed the contract, which included his details and address, Abu Gharbeih told the court.

Another witness from Jeeran, said the company director had asked her to enter the data required for the JNM website.

The data was downloaded on a CD and handed to the prosecutor general during yesterday’s session.

This case is rather confusing for me. On the one hand you have the jailing of an outspoken critic of the government and/or the regime, and on the other hand, the guy’s an idiot. In Jordan, if you accuse someone of corruption you kind of have to prove it; provide some sort of evidence of it. Otherwise it’s just slander. It’s the easiest thing in politics to accuse someone of something, proving it is a whole other matter. This is especially true if you write such accusations in an open letter to a US senator, and post it on a website.

Again, this is not a reason to jail him or even try him in the State Security Court, whose very existence in our judicial system is something I have great quarrels with. Nevertheless, Oweidi, being who he is, should have been well aware of the law. We do have laws in this country, and yes, often times they are difficult, but if they’re not enforced then the very system Oweidi fights to preserve from corruption, is in fact tainted.

As for his website. I’m not sure who would have an interest in hacking it. The site essentially consists of slanderous accusations, specifically directed at the King, whom Oweidi has claimed he has never said anything negative about.

The Arab Times is the only website that’s banned in Jordan and even that was an action taken over a decade ago. Internet freedoms are much greater nowadays, and Oweidi’s website even reposts much of the Arab Time’s materials, as do other Jordanian websites and forums.

And this is why this case is confusing for me personally. I don’t believe Oweidi should be imprisoned, nor his website hacked or shut down, but I also believe he should be held accountable for whatever accusations he makes.