Jordan: authorities urged to immediately release syndicate board members

Press Release

On 25 July 2020, Jordanian security forces raided the Jordan Teachers Syndicate headquarters in Amman and 11 of its branches across the country. The move led to the closure of the union’s offices, the arrest of 13 syndicate board members and the placement of a comprehensive gag order on all those reporting about the situation, including on social media.

Attorney General Hassan Abdallat ordered to close the Teachers Syndicate for a period of two years following disputes between the government and the Syndicate. Under the 2011 Jordan Teachers Syndicate Law, the group’s board can only be dissolved by a vote of two-thirds of the members of its central committee or by judicial order.

This decision violates Article 8 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which Jordan has ratified. It stipulates “the right of everyone to form trade unions and join the trade union of his choice, subject only to the rules of the organization concerned, for the promotion and protection of his economic and social interests”.

Convention No. 87 concerning freedom of association and protection of the right to organise, adopted by the General Conference of the International Labor Organization, guarantees the right for unions to freely exercise their duties.

“We call on the Jordanian authorities to immediately release the detained trade unionists and suspend the closure decision until a judicial decision is made. The right of the syndicate board to a fair trial, if there are legal cases against them, must be ensured”, said President of EuroMed Rights, Wadih Al-Asmar.