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Jordan blocks domestic news websites for failing to register; critics object to restrictions

Jordan says it has blocked unlicensed news websites in a step toward regulating online media widely criticized by the government and readers for sensational reporting.

By Monday, access to 304 domestic online sites was cut, said the Press and Publication Department. It said another 102 news websites remain accessible, because they are either licensed or seeking registration.

Hashem Khalidi, chief editor of the blocked SarayaNews, says the government "has zero tolerance and wants to silence everyone."

Information Minister Mohammed Momani says the move aims to regulate online media and boost their "professionalism and credibility."

He insists that media regulation "is a key component of Jordan's political reform efforts."

Last year, parliament endorsed a law requiring news websites to register with the state. Online media outlets criticized the measure as restrictive.