OHCHR / JORDAN SUPPRESSION OF FREEDOMS

07-Aug-2020 00:02:32
The UN Human Rights Office described Jordan’s shutting down of a teachers’ union, suspension of its board, and arrest of the board’s members, as “severe and unjustified curbs on freedom of opinion and expression,” adding that the actions against the union are emblematic of a growing pattern of suppression of public freedoms and restriction of civic and democratic space by the Jordanian Government. UNTV CH
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STORY: OHCHR / JORDAN SUPPRESSION OF FREEDOMS
TRT: 02:32
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 07 AUGUST 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE – GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, exterior Palais des Nations

07 AUGUST 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“We are deeply concerned at the decision by the Jordanian authorities to close an independent trade union, suspend its board for two years, and replace its leaders with a Government-appointed committee to run the union’s affairs in the interim.”

FILE – GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

3. Wide shot, exterior Palais des Nations

07 AUGUST 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

4. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“The arrest of the Syndicate’s 13 board members on criminal charges, after they criticised Government policies and outlined plans for a possible further strike over pay, is deeply disturbing. There are also worrying reports that security forces used unnecessary or excessive force against hundreds of demonstrators who gathered outside the Prime Minister’s office on 29 July to protest against the arrest and suspension of the Syndicate’s leaders.”

FILE – GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

5. Wide shot, exterior Palais des Nations

07 AUGUST 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

6. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“We also have serious concerns about what appear to be severe and unjustified curbs on the right to freedom of opinion and expression. On 26 July, the Attorney General issued an order banning all news stories, posts or comments about the Syndicate’s closure and the arrest of its board members in all media and social media platforms, apart from official authorised outlets.”

FILE – GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

7. Wide shot, exterior Palais des Nations

07 AUGUST 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

8. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“The actions against the Teachers Syndicate - which has over 100,000 members - and its supporters, are emblematic of a growing pattern of suppression of public freedoms and the restriction of civic and democratic space by the Jordanian Government, including against labour rights activists, human rights defenders, journalists and those who have peacefully criticised the Government. This raises deep concerns as to the commitment of the Government to uphold its obligations with regard to the rights to freedom of association, peaceful assembly, and expression and opinion, as well as the rights of workers and trade unions.”

FILE – GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

9. Wide shot, exterior Palais des Nations

07 AUGUST 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

10. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“We call on the Jordanian authorities to promptly review their decisions regarding the Syndicate, and to immediately review and decide on legal applications calling for the arrested union leaders and oth-er detained teachers to be released. We understand all of the 13 Council members have been on hun-ger strike since they were arrested on 25 July.”

FILE – GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

11. Wide shot, exterior Palais des Nations
STORYLINE
The UN Human Rights Office today (7 Aug) described Jordan’s shutting down of a teachers’ union, suspension of its board, and arrest of the board’s members, as “severe and unjustified curbs on freedom of opinion and expression,” adding that the actions against the union are emblematic of a growing pattern of suppression of public freedoms and restriction of civic and democratic space by the Jordanian Government.

The Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Rupert Colville, expressed concern “at the decision by the Jordanian authorities to close an independent trade union, suspend its board for two years, and replace its leaders with a Government-appointed committee to run the union’s affairs in the interim.”

Colville said, “the arrest of the Syndicate’s 13 board members on criminal charges, after they criticised Government policies and outlined plans for a possible further strike over pay, is deeply disturbing. There are also worrying reports that security forces used unnecessary or excessive force against hundreds of demonstrators who gathered outside the Prime Minister’s office on 29 July to protest against the arrest and suspension of the Syndicate’s leaders.”

He expressed concern “about what appear to be severe and unjustified curbs on the right to freedom of opinion and expression.”

On 26 July, he said, “the Attorney General issued an order banning all news stories, posts or com-ments about the Syndicate’s closure and the arrest of its board members in all media and social me-dia platforms, apart from official authorised outlets.”

Colville said, “the actions against the Teachers Syndicate - which has over 100,000 members - and its supporters, are emblematic of a growing pattern of suppression of public freedoms and the re-striction of civic and democratic space by the Jordanian Government, including against labour rights activists, human rights defenders, journalists and those who have peacefully criticised the Govern-ment. This raises deep concerns as to the commitment of the Government to uphold its obligations with regard to the rights to freedom of association, peaceful assembly, and expression and opinion, as well as the rights of workers and trade unions.”

The spokesperson called on the Jordanian authorities “to promptly review their decisions regarding the Syndicate, and to immediately review and decide on legal applications calling for the arrested union leaders and other detained teachers to be released.”
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