Annual Report: Jordan 2013

May 23, 2013

Annual Report: Jordan 2013

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  • ‘Uday Abu ‘Isa was sentenced to two years' imprisonment by the SSC in January for burning a picture of the King at a demonstration. A prisoner of conscience, he was held for seven weeks before being released under a royal pardon. He said police had beaten him after his arrest.

Detention without trial

Hundreds, possibly thousands, of people continued to be detained without charge or trial for long periods under the 1954 Law on Crime Prevention, which empowers provincial governors to order the indefinite detention without charge of anyone they suspect of having committed a crime or deem a “danger to society”.

Discrimination and violence against women

Women were discriminated against in law and practice, and were inadequately protected against gender-based violence. At least ten women were reported to have been killed by male relatives, victims of so-called “honour” crimes.

The UN CEDAW Committee and the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women urged the government to amend the Citizenship and Nationality Law to enable Jordanian women to pass on their nationality to their children and spouses on an equal basis with Jordanian men, and to lift reservations to Articles 9 and 16 of CEDAW relating to nationality and to discrimination in family relations. In November, the Prime Minister said the government would address these reservations.

Migrants' rights – domestic workers

There were reports of migrant domestic workers, mostly women, being confined to their employers' homes, denied pay, having their passports seized or being physically, psychologically or sexually abused by their employers.

In March, the UN CERD Committee urged the government to ensure full labour rights for all employees including migrant domestic workers, regardless of nationality or ethnicity.

Refugees and asylum-seekers

Thousands of people fleeing the conflict in Syria sought refuge in Jordan. UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, said in December that 163,088 refugees from Syria had registered or were waiting to register with them; the total number of refugees was believed to be higher. There were reports that some Syrian and Palestinian refugees were forcibly returned to Syria. On 31 August, Jordan's Foreign Minister said some 200 Syrians had been removed from al-Za'atari refugee camp and returned to the border area between Jordan and Syria after “rioting” and inciting violence.

Death penalty

At least 16 people were sentenced to death; at least five death sentences were commuted. There were no executions; the last execution was in 2006.

Amnesty International visits/reports

  • Amnesty International visited Jordan in February and July to carry out human rights research relating to Syria.
  • Jordan: Decision to release two government critics welcomed as a positive first step (MDE 16/001/2012)
  • Jordan: Six pro-reform activists under investigation for “insulting” the King must be released (MDE 16/002/2012)
  • Jordan: Arbitrary arrests, torture and other ill-treatment and lack of adequate medical care of detained protesters (MDE 16/003/2012)
  • Jordan: Arrest of 20 pro-reform activists heralds crackdown on freedom of expression (PRE01/489/2012)