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U.S. Statement at the Universal Periodic Review of Jordan
November 8, 2018

U.S. Statement at the Universal Periodic Review of Jordan
Geneva, November 8, 2018
as delivered by Jason Mack

The United States welcomes the delegation from Jordan.

We remain concerned by a variety of laws that restrict fundamental freedoms and have led to arrests and detentions of journalists, civil society activists, and social media users.  To that end, we recommend Jordan:

  1. Remove the definition of “hate speech” from the proposed amendments to the Cybercrimes Law and eliminate criminal penalties for defamation in the proposed amendments to be more in line with international human rights law.
  2. Refer cases of alleged torture by security officials to independent civil courts rather than police courts, which fall under the authority of the Ministry of Interior.
  3. Amend the Labor Code to align with international labor standards, including allowing foreign workers to form and head trade unions.

We commend Jordan’s initiatives to eliminate penal code provisions that allowed perpetrators of rape to avoid punishment by marrying the victim, and amendments to the law eliminating mitigated sentencing for “honor” crimes.  We also commend 2017 legislation strengthening protections for workers with disabilities and criminalizing neglect of persons with disabilities, and urge full implementation and enforcement of the law.