Jordan detains journalist Rula Amin without charges over custody battle

Middle East Eye

A journalist has been detained in Jordan after she refused to give up her daughter following the overturning of a custody decision in her favour.

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A still shows Rula Amin, a former CNN correspondent based in Jordan (YouTube screengrab) 

Rula Amin, an Al-Jazeera correspondent who has previously worked with CNN, won a year-long court battle against her former husband in late 2014 for custody of their five-year-old daughter.

However, she was picked up by Jordanian police on Monday after a sharia court reversed the decision earlier this month.

Amin refused to give the child up, reportedly telling police that they had “no legal reason” to take the child back.

Amin’s arrest came a day after she was informed of a seven-day deadline in which to give up the child.

She has now been transferred to a women’s prison in the capital Amman, though no formal charges have as yet been announced.

Jordanian news site Tasweer reported that she will be released from detention on giving up her daughter.

The court’s decision on Monday to overturn the initial ruling has been criticised by Amin’s supporters as “unconstitutional”.

According to Jordanian law, mothers customarily have the right to retain custody of their children following divorce.

This right is only waived if the mother remarries.

In a statement, supporters said the legal precedent for the court ruling overturning the ruling in Amin’s favour was “unclear”.

According to Amin’s lawyer, custody decisions cannot by law be appealed in Jordan.

Colleagues and journalists working in the region have rallied behind Amin, with many hailing her professionalism and devotion to her family.

Amin reportedly gave up her job and moved to Jordan to be closer to her daughter, after securing Jordanian citizenship following her marriage to her then-partner.

Amin’s ex-husband and the father of their child is Mohamed al-Ajlouni, a well-known Jordanian media mogul who has founded several broadcasting networks.