Jordan amends its anti-terror laws in move criticized by activists as limiting free speech

Jordan has amended its anti-terrorism laws to criminalize disrupting its foreign affairs and spreading the ideas of terror groups, a move criticized by rights activists as vague and limiting free speech in the kingdom.

Information Minister Mohammad Al-Momani said that the amendments were published in the government gazette Sunday after King Abdullah signed them into law. The country's House of Representatives and Senate earlier approved the amendments.

The amendments also criminalize any network that supports or spreads the ideas of a terrorist group. It's not clear what would constitute disrupting the kingdom's foreign affairs. Al-Momani said a judge ultimately would determine guilt, but acknowledged the law could be used against media outlets and websites.

Human Rights Watch earlier criticized the changes to Jordan's 2006 anti-terrorism law as threatening free speech.