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Amnesty: Jordan denying detained pro-Palestinian activists’ access to lawyers

April 16, 2024 at 8:41 am

Hundreds of people holding Palestinian flags and banners, gather to stage a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Amman, Jordan on October 28,2023. [Laith Al-jnaidi – Anadolu Agency]

Amnesty International in Jordan said on Monday that it is “concerned about the continued detention of several activists by the Jordanian General Intelligence Service.”

It added in a post on its official X page, “among them are activists Ziad Ibhais and Maysara Malas, according to their lawyer.”

The organisation quoted their lawyer as saying, “They were arrested on March 31, during a pro-Gaza demonstration, without being informed of the reasons for the arrest. They are still prevented from contacting their lawyers.”

Amnesty International said in a statement on its official website, “Since 7 October 2023, the Jordanian authorities have arrested at least 1,500 people, including about 500 detained since March following huge protests outside the Israeli Embassy in Amman.”

“The Jordanian authorities must immediately cease their crackdown on pro-Gaza protests and immediately release dozens of activists who have been illegally detained solely because of their peaceful criticism of the government’s policies towards Israel.”

READ: Jordan arrests, harasses hundreds of pro-Palestine protesters, HRW says

The rights group noted that “at least 165 protesters were arrested between 24 and 27 March, while scores have been detained since.”

“Dozens remain in detention pending trial, while at least 21 individuals are being held in illegal administrative detention on orders of the Governor of Amman even though the public prosecutor permitted their release,” it added.

“Lawyers and activists told Amnesty International that the Jordanian authorities also recently imposed new restrictions on pro-Palestine protests, including prohibitions on holding the Palestinian flag and banners with certain slogans, and banned the participation of children younger than 18 years old. They also prohibited the continuation of protests after midnight.”

Dozens of protestors have also been charged under Jordan’s repressive Cybercrimes Law for social media posts in which they merely expressed pro-Palestinian sentiment, criticised the authorities’ peace deal with Israel, or called for peaceful protests and public strikes.