• Jordan received and hosted hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria in 2013, although the authorities restricted some from entry. Authorities stepped up attacks on independent media, censoring websites that refused to comply with new government registration requirements. Jordanian law criminalized speech deemed critical of the king, government officials, and institutions, as well as Islam and speech considered defamatory of others. Perpetrators of torture or other ill-treatment continued to enjoy near-total impunity. Jordan’s personal status code remains discriminatory despite a 2010 amendment.
  • Jordan should conduct an independent investigation into allegations that police used excessive force against demonstrators during a March 19, 2014, protest in Amman. The protest in front of the parliament building was over Jordan’s refusal to expel the Israeli ambassador following the killing of a Jordanian-Palestinian judge, Raed Zuaiter, by Israeli soldiers at Jordan’s border crossing with the West Bank.

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Reports

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Jordan

  • Apr 1, 2014
    Jordan should conduct an independent investigation into allegations that police used excessive force against demonstrators during a March 19, 2014, protest in Amman. The protest in front of the parliament building was over Jordan’s refusal to expel the Israeli ambassador following the killing of a Jordanian-Palestinian judge, Raed Zuaiter, by Israeli soldiers at Jordan’s border crossing with the West Bank.
  • Mar 20, 2014
    The Human Rights Council’s review of Jordan comes at a time of serious external challenges and government plansfor internal reform. Jordanian authorities are currently undertaking legislative changes to realize priorities of King Abdullah’s reform agenda announced early 2011, but the reform agenda has so far fallen short of making basic changes to ensure respect for the rights to free expression, association, freedom of the press, and an end to impunity for torture and other ill-treatment.
  • Jan 28, 2014
    Jordanian lawmakers should undertake critical reforms in 2014 to remove or amend laws that place impermissible limits on free expression, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2014.
  • Oct 29, 2013
    Jordanian lawmakers should amend or eliminate vague penal code provisions used to try peaceful protesters on terrorism-related charges.
  • Oct 28, 2013
    The Middle East depends heavily on domestic workers but trails other regions in adopting critical reforms to protect their rights, the International Domestic Workers Network (IDWN), the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), and Human Rights Watch said today. The groups released a report assessing progress since the 2011 adoption of the Domestic Workers Convention, a groundbreaking treaty to entitle domestic workers to the same basic rights as other workers.
  • Oct 22, 2013
    Other countries should use the upcoming periodic review of Jordan’s human rights record at the United Nations Human Rights Council to press for concrete reforms. In particular, country representatives gathering in Geneva for the review process on October 24, 2013, should press Jordan to amend its penal code to remove vague charges that limit rights to free expression, assembly, and association.
  • Sep 30, 2013
    In 2010, 2011, and 2012, Jordan passed new legislation that threatens freedom of expression and extends executive control over online media outlets. Freedom of expression and association remain circumscribed in law and practice, and security services enjoy a large degree of impunity for arbitrary arrests and torture, as do employers for abuses against migrant domestic workers. Arrests of dissidents and journalists have increased, as has the incidence of trials in the State Security Court.
  • Sep 21, 2013
    Jordanian authorities arrested the publisher and chief editor of the Jafra News website on September 17, 2013, for “disturbing relations with a foreign state.” The website had posted a YouTube video allegedly showing a Qatari prince sitting, dancing, and showering with several women.
  • Jul 1, 2013
    Iraqi, Jordanian, and Turkish border guards are pushing back tens of thousands of people trying to flee Syria. Iraq, Jordan, and Turkey have either closed numerous border crossings entirely or allowed only limited numbers of Syrians to cross, leaving tens of thousands stranded in dangerous conditions in Syria’s conflict-ridden border regions. Only Lebanon has an open border policy for Syrians fleeing the conflict.
  • Jun 4, 2013
    Jordanian authorities should immediately rescind an order to censor 263 unlicensed local news websites.The government should also scrap recent legislation that allows it to encroach on online media freedom. The attempts to regulate online speech violate Jordan’s constitutional free expression guarantees.