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Release Political Prisoners; Respect Right to Peaceful Assembly

(Dakar) – Cameroon’s authorities should ensure accountability for their security forces’ crackdown on opposition leaders, supporters, and peaceful protesters in September 2020, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today. They should…
Demonstrators stopped by gendarmes and police in Bafang, West Cameroon, on September 22, 2020.
News

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
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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
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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
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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

Government Checks Rights to Assemble, Bans Opposition Demonstrations

In a crackdown on both the opposition and the right to assemble, Cameroonian authorities have banned a week of demonstrations planned by the opposition Cameroon Renaissance Movement (MRC) party. On April 5, the Ministry of…
Cameroonian opposition leader Maurice Kamto was arrested in Douala on January 28, 2019 for what appears to be politically motivated reasons.
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
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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
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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

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

Newspaper Editor, Professor Arrested Over Peaceful Comments

(Amman) – Jordanian prosecutors have charged a newspaper editor and a university professor in separate cases for peacefully expressing their opinions. On August 18, 2015, a Jordanian prosecutor summoned Atef al-Jowlani, editor-in-chief of the daily…
News

Vague Law Being Used to Curb Media Freedom

(Amman) – Jordanian authorities are curtailing media freedom by detaining and bringing charges against journalists under broad and vague provisions of the country’s terrorism law. In the most recent case, on July 8, 2015, authorities detained Ghazi…
News

Prosecutors Use 2014 Reform Loopholes to Silence Critics

(Beirut) – 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…
News

Greatly Expand Categories of Terrorist Acts

(Beirut) – King Abdullah II should reject amendments to Jordan’s Anti-Terrorism Law that broaden the definition of terrorism and threaten freedom of expression. The amendments quickly passed Jordan’s lower house of parliament on April 22, 2014, and the…
News

Arrests, Security Trials for Peaceful Criticism

(Amman) – 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. Jordanian officials prosecuted people during 2013…