In March 2020, Jordan declared a state of emergency in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, granting the prime minister sweeping powers to rule by decree and curtail basic rights. Authorities later exploited the pandemic to arbitrarily curtail fundamental rights, including freedom of speech and assembly. In late July 2020, police raided the Teachers Syndicate headquarters in Amman and 11 of its branches across the country, shuttered them, and arrested all 13 syndicate board members on dubious legal grounds. Authorities prevented or forcibly dispersed demonstrations across the country protesting the closure.