UN experts urge Jordan to release labour union members and lift gag orders


A group of United Nations human rights experts have called on the Jordanian government to reverse its decision to close a teachers’ union, free its board members from detention and lift gag orders that have prohibited any public discussion.
“The actions of the Jordanian government against the Teachers Syndicate are a serious violation of the rights to freedom of association and expression,” the experts said. “Civil society groups and labour unions should be able to organise and express criticism of government actions”, the UN experts said in a joint statement on Wednesday.
The UN special rapporteurs and other human rights experts denounced the closure of the labour union considering the decision  as “one of the most severe types of restrictions to freedom of association and expression that  does not pursue a legitimate State interest.”
The experts’ statement noted the harsh repression of the Teacher Syndicate after detaining 13 of its board members warning that Jordan’s system of education will be affected.
They also voiced concerns over the health of the detained board members who have launched a hunger strike as a protest and at least three of them are in deteriorating health conditions and need medical care.
The UN experts crucially called out Jordanian government’s orders that prohibit any reporting on the Teachers Syndicate case and the arrest of some journalists. The statement highlighted the imminent threat to freedom of expression.
“Orders by the Jordanian government and judiciary prohibiting the publication of information on this case are alarming violations of freedom of expression,” the experts said.
While they called on the government to stop using excessive force and detaining peaceful protestors and journalists during public demonstrations in support of the Teachers Syndicat, the Un experts urged the government to engage in meaningful dialogue with the labour union.


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