• From King Abdullah on down, Jordanian officials pride themselves on a better rights record than their neighbors, but the kingdom has barely advanced rights protections over the past decade. Expression and association remain tightly circumscribed in law and practice, and security services enjoy a large degree of impunity for arbitrary arrests and torture, as do employers for widespread abuses against migrant domestic workers. Fighting corruption became a major popular demand in 2011, but court cases smacked of politicization.

  • Jordan’s State Security Court sentenced a senior opposition figure on February 15, 2015, to 18 months in prison for criticizing the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Featured Content


  • Jordan's Treatment of Palestinians Escaping Syria
  • How Jordanian Laws, Officials, Employers, and Recruiters Fail Abused Migrant Domestic Workers
  • Protection of Migrant Domestic Workers in Asia and the Middle East


  • Jun 17, 2015
    Um Ghassan was eleven in 1948 when her family fled Haifa. They joined the Palestinian exodus to Jordan, and later moved to Syria. “They welcomed us like we were their relatives,” she said. Decades later, when fighting broke out in Syria in 2011, Um Ghassan initially stayed in her house. “I would never leave my home,” she told me. But after bombing destroyed part of it, she had no choice. She fled to Yarmouk, an urban camp on the southern edge of Damascus, where Palestinians were settled after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. “We thought Yarmouk was safe—all Palestinian refugees. No one would attack it.”
  • Jun 17, 2015
    This Saturday (20 June), on World Refugee Day, there will be much well-deserved appreciation of Syria’s neighbours for hosting nearly 4 million refugees.
  • Jun 3, 2015
    Jordanian authorities have severely restricted informal border crossings in the eastern part of the country since late March, 2015, stranding hundreds of Syrians in remote desert areas just inside Jordan’s border.
  • May 22, 2015
    On May 14 “Ahmed”, a resident of the southern town of Maan, called and told me that Gendarmerie forces had destroyed part of his house during a raid early that morning.
  • Feb 19, 2015
    Jordan’s State Security Court sentenced a senior opposition figure on February 15, 2015, to 18 months in prison for criticizing the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
  • Feb 4, 2015
  • Jan 29, 2015
    Jordanian reform initiatives in 2014 failed to end long-term abuses, and authorities continued to detain and prosecute peaceful critics, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2015.
  • Dec 21, 2014
    Jordanian authorities executed 11 Jordanian men by hanging on December 21, 2014, ending an eight-year de facto moratorium on the death penalty.
  • Dec 11, 2014
    Jordanian authorities have broken reform promises by arresting and charging activists for speech-related offenses. At least three activists were arrested in recent months and charged with speech-related offenses under vague terrorism legislation and are being tried in Jordan’s State Security Court.
  • Dec 8, 2014
    Jordanian authorities on December 3, 2014, deported to Syria nine Syrians working to facilitate medical treatment in Jordan for war-wounded Syrians. These forcible returns violate the customary international law principle of nonrefoulement, which forbids governments from returning people to places where their lives or freedom would be threatened.