During just a few months of 2023, 6,131 people resorted to the law to protect them from people who committed crimes of extortion and fraud, violated their privacy, slandered them, and threatened their lives, according to the latest official figures.
Nidal (Yemeni national) was one of those who were threatened and intimidated online by a group of people, so he resorted to the Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD), specifically to its legal aid unit, which provided him with the necessary legal advice, and then immediately began to communicate with the relevant authorities in this context.
The indirect threats and blackmail received by Nidal, who resides in the capital, Amman, left him feeling scared and helpless, especially if he should face any problems later on, but the legal team at ARDD and the Cybercrime Unit in the Public Security Directorate were quick to reassure him that what happened with him would end as if it never happened.
The Jordanian Penal Code defines extortion as “anyone who threatens a person to expose, disclose, or report on a matter that is likely to undermine the dignity or honor of that person or the dignity or honor of one of his relatives, shall be punished by imprisonment from three months to two years and a fine of fifty dinars to two hundred dinars.”
Meanwhile, Article 18 of the Cybercrime Law stipulates that “Anyone who blackmails or threatens any person to force them to do or refrain from doing an act or to benefit as a result thereof, with such blackmail or threat being done through the use of an information system, information network, website, social media platform, or through any other means of information technology, shall be punished by imprisonment for a minimum period of one year and a fine ranging from 3000 to 6000 thousand Jordanian dinars.”
In the end, 40-year-old Nidal was reassured and returned to his normal life, after the Crimes Unit was able to identify the “blackmailers”, who, upon investigation, turned out to be from Yemen, which confirms the importance of resorting to the law and educating citizens and individuals not to deal with such people or respond to them.
Many users of the Internet and social networking sites in particular fall into legal problems, some of which amount to the description of a felony, to eventually find themselves before the criminal courts, sometimes for reasons that do not exceed ignorance of the law. As a result, these problems lead to the destruction of the lives of many people because they fall victim to their ignorance and exploitation by others.
**These stories are part of the activities of the project “Investing in the Future: Improving the Livelihoods and Education of Minority Refugee Groups within Society in Jordan”, launched by ARDD in partnership with Vision Hope International, and with financial support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, in a step aimed at protecting and assisting Sudanese, Yemeni, and Somali refugees, as well as Jordanians in the most affected host communities, and raising their capacity, confidence, and knowledge by resorting to the competent authorities in case they face legal problems.