Geneva - The Jordanian security services’ prevention of activists from reaching a sit-in held against the gas agreement with Israel violates their right to freedom of expression guaranteed by Article 15 of the Jordanian Constitution, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said today.
The Jordanian security officers arrested protesters heading from Irbid and Amman to the sit-in at Al-Hosn refugee camp at the Sil Jarash checkpoint.
After the security services prevented activists from reaching the sit-in, a number of protesters raised their banners at the Sil Jarash checkpoint. Other activists held a sit-in against the gas agreement in front of the Professional Associations Complex in Irbid, near Jordan University of Science and Technology.
Jordanian activists and trade unionists on Wednesday issued calls for demonstrations against the gas deal with Israel, noting that the agreement is not economically feasible, in addition to financing Israel's violations against the Palestinians in the occupied territories.
The Jordanian security services had earlier removed the sit-in tent in front of the gas line in Irbid in northern Jordan.
The security authorities’ restriction of the right to freedom of expression and preventing peaceful demonstrators from going to the sit-in violates the rules of international law that guarantee the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of opinion and expression, especially Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In addition, these practices ignore the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which affirmed the right to organize peaceful protests and solidarity sit-ins.
Jordan's security measures contravene the 2011 Public Meetings Law, which stipulates that the approval of the administrative governor is not required for any peaceful assembly.
Nada Nabil, the Euro-Med Monitor's media officer, said that the Jordanian authorities should address the general discontent over the gas agreement with Israel by listening to the protesters’ demands rather than preventing them and removing the their sit-in tent by force.
Nabil added that the behavior of the Jordanian security to resolve peaceful sit-ins has become a recurring phenomenon based on the assumption that protesters have bad intentions, especially recently.
The gas agreement signed between the Jordanian government and Israel, which is scheduled to enter into force by the beginning of 2020 for 15 years, has been widely rejected by various segments of the Jordanian society.
The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor asserts that the actions of the governor violate the Jordanian Constitution and the international law, calling on the authorities to respect local law and international obligations with regard to the right to freedom of opinion and expression. The rights organization called on the House of Representatives to exercise its role in monitoring the protection of the rights of individuals and to make sure the executive authority does not abuse its powers in this regard.