In 2017, Jordanian lawmakers abolished article 308 of the country’s 1960 penal code, an infamous provision that allowed perpetrators of sexual assault to avoid punishment if they married their victims. Lawmakers also amended article 98 to state that perpetrators of crimes “against women” cannot receive mitigated sentences. Jordanian authorities continue to curtail freedom of expression, detaining and bringing charges against activists, dissidents, and journalists, sometimes under broad and vague provisions of the country’s counterterrorism law or electronic crimes law. Jordan discriminates against women by not allowing them to pass Jordanian citizenship to their children. Jordan hosted over 656,000 Syrian refugees in 2017, although authorities closed the Syrian-Jordanian border to new entries in June 2016. Thousands of Syrians remained stranded in remote border areas with limited access to humanitarian aid.
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