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Unfair Trial on Vague Charge of ‘Acts Against a Foreign State’

(Beirut) – The decision of a United Arab Emirates (UAE) court to sentence a Jordanian resident of the UAE to 10 years in prison in October 2020 was based entirely on peaceful Facebook posts criticizing Jordan’s government, Human Rights Watch said…
Ahmed Etoum
News

Free Expression Under Assault

  (Amman) – Jordanian authorities should immediately release and drop abusive charges against Emad Hajjaj, a cartoonist, Human Rights Watch said today. Jordanian authorities arrested Hajjaj on August 26, 2020, for publishing a satirical…
Emad Hajjaj
News

Teachers’ Syndicate Board Released; Others Still Held

(Amman) – Jordanian authorities have exploited the country’s Covid-19 pandemic to forcibly disperse public protests against the arbitrary closure of the country’s Teachers Syndicate and mass arrests of its leadership, Human Rights Watch said today…
 Jordanian police block a road in front of protestors in Irbid, north of Jordan on August 1, 2020.
News

Latest Escalation in Media Restrictions

(Amman) – Jordanian authorities have used a sweeping gag order, harassment, and arrests to limit media coverage of ongoing protests stemming from the arbitrary closure of the Jordanian Teachers’ Syndicate on July 25, 2020, Human Rights Watch said…
Thousands of Jordanian teachers march from the governorship building to the Professional Unions Complex to demand a reversal of the decision to close the Teachers Union, in Irbid, Jordan on August 01, 2020.
News

New Penalties for ‘Causing Panic’ About Pandemic

(Amman) – Jordanian authorities have arrested media workers and others and issued a vaguely worded emergency decree that could chill online discussion about Jordan’s Covid-19 response, Human Rights Watch said today. Under the…
Jordanian police personnel guard at a checkpoint during the second day of a nationwide curfew, amid concerns over the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Amman, Jordan. © 2020 Reuters
News

Targeted for Social Media Criticism, Protests

  (Amman) – Jordanian authorities are seeking to limit protests over austerity policies throughout 2019 by targeting protest leaders, participants, and other critics for harassment and…
Mafraq Protests
News

Charges Restrict Free Expression

  (Amman) – Jordanian authorities have increasingly targeted political and anti-corruption activists on charges that violate the right to free expression, Human Rights Watch said…
Protestor raises the Jordanian flag during 2018 protest in front of the prime ministry building in Amman
News

Eliminate Criminal Penalties for Online Defamation

(Amman) – Proposed amendments to Jordan’s 2015 Electronic Crimes Law would overly restrict freedom of expression by stipulating criminal penalties for posting “fake news” or engaging in “hate speech” online, Human Rights Watch said…
Jordanian parliament in session. © 2016 Sam McNeil/AP Images
News

3-Year Sentence, Fine Violated Right to Free Expression

(Beirut) – The United Arab Emirates should immediately release Tayseer al-Najjar, a Jordanian journalist who, on December 13, 2018, completed a three-year prison sentence, Human Rights Watch and Reporters Without Borders said in a letter to the UAE…
MENA UAE Jordan Journalist Tayseer al-Najjar
News

The London summit this week could kick-start the revival of the stalled reform process in the region – but won’t if human rights and the rule of law stay off the agenda

  Western Balkan and European Union leaders meet in London this week for a summit that could be a chance to revive stalled reforms and focus attention on critical issues. Unfortunately, there is every chance it will turn out to be full of hot…
Migrants are seen in front of a dorm destroyed during Bosnian 1992-1995 war, in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina May 11, 2018.
News

Press Visiting Junta Leader to Fulfill Promises on Rights, Democracy

(London) – UK Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron should press Thailand’s junta leader to respect human rights and ensure a rapid transition to democratic civilian rule, Human Rights Watch said today. Prime Minister Gen…
A Pro-democracy activist holds a fan during protest against junta near Democracy Monument in Bangkok, Thailand February 10, 2018. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
News

Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
News

Vague, Restrictive Laws Hamper Freedom of Association

(Amman) – Jordanian authorities have threatened a regional media freedom organization based in Jordan over its receipt of foreign funding, Human Rights Watch said today. Jordanian authorities told the Center for Defending Freedom of Journalists (…
The Jordanian Parliament in Amman
News

UK Home Secretary Suggests Only Bad Guys Want ‘Unbreakable Security’

In a recent op-ed, United Kingdom Home Secretary Amber Rudd argued strong encryption was thwarting the government’s ability to monitor terrorists and criminals. Rudd expressed skepticism about the need for end-to-end encryption,…
WhatsApp and Facebook messenger icons are seen on an iPhone in Manchester , Britain March 27, 2017.
News

Defending against right-wing populism requires standing up for democratic values

It has been a bad few weeks for the populists and others who attack human rights. Emmanuel Macron trounced Marine Le Pen in the presidential elections, then his party collected a parliamentary majority of 350 seats against her National…
British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron attend the EU summit in Brussels, Belgium, June 22, 2017.
News

3-Year Sentence for ‘Insulting State Symbols’ on Facebook

(Beirut) – A United Arab Emirates court sentenced a Jordanian journalist on March 15, 2017, to prison and a large fine for “insulting the state’s symbols,” Human Rights Watch said today. The sentence against Tayseer al-Najjar was related to Facebook posts…
MENA UAE Jordan Journalist Tayseer al-Najjar
News

Applicants Seek to Know if GCHQ Spied on Them, Legally or Not

Human Rights Watch and six individuals lodged a challenge with the European Court of Human Rights, demanding that the UK Investigatory Powers Tribunal confirm whether or not they were subject to surveillance by GCHQ. The challenge, filed on November 4,…
News

End Criminalization of Defaming Religion

(Amman) – The prominent Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar was murdered on September 25, 2016, as he entered an Amman court to stand trial for insulting religion. Authorities arrested Hattar on August 13, after he posted an anti-ISIS cartoon to…
MENA Jordan Hattar Photo 27 Sept
News
My country feels unmoored since the EU referendum decision. Prime Minister David Cameron has announced his resignation, the main political parties are internally divided, the markets volatile. What will happen next is unclear and people are anxious about…
2016-6-eca-brexit-flag