UN human rights agency, Jordanian activists call for release of political prisoners
The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights urged Jordan on Friday to release twelve political prisoners detained without due process since February.
"We are concerned by the continued detention in Jordan of peaceful activists arrested in February and March under the Law of Crime Prevention and the Cybercrime Prevention Law, in what appears to be part of a deliberate campaign to silence dissent," UN Human Rights spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani wrote in statement on Friday.
The UN body highlighted that those detained did not have "effective access to due process and fair trial guarantees."
On Saturday, Jordan's largest opposition party, the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Islamic Action Front Party, called on the government to release all political prisoners before Eid.
Jordan has recently witnessed a spate of arrests and the adoption of several laws restricting freedom of speech and of the press.
At least 25 members of the teachers' syndicate, the country's largest independent labour union, were arrested in late March before a protest due to take place in front of the Ministry of Education. The wave of arrests followed another one on 24 March, in which 45 activists were detained by security forces, sometimes after raids on their homes in the middle of the night - under the pretext of heading off protests.
While many of those detained on political grounds were eventually released, at least twelve are still held. Two have gone on hunger strike to protest their detention.
"We urge the authorities to release all those who have been detained for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, to ensure that individuals can exercise these rights, and to address their grievances," Shamdasani added.
In 2021, Freedom House downgraded Jordan from "partially free" to "not free" following its crackdown on the teachers' syndicate.