Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) hereby calls on the Jordanian authorities to reverse its decision to expel three Syrian human-rights activists, currently seeking shelter as political refugees in Jordan.
The Syrian regime’s continuous, widespread, systematic repression of all opposition, including civilian opposition – through the use of extra-judicial killings, unlawful detentions, and torture – is widely acknowledged. The regime, led by Bashar al-Assad, does not conform to any of the basic international norms governing states’ treatment of political opposition or prisoners.
However, the Jordanian authorities recently announced their decision to expel three Syrian activists from Jordan within 14 days. The three are Hasnah al-Hariri, Ibrhaim al-Hariri, and Raafat al-Salkhidee.
Hasnah is a former detainee. She was imprisoned by the Syrian regime in 2012, though released as part of a prisoner swap in 2013. On her release, Hasnah discovered that her husband, two of her sons, and two of her daughters’ husbands had died inside the Assad’s prisons.
Jordan hosts approximately 650,000 United Nations-registered Syrian refugees. Amman estimates that 1.3 million Syrians have sought refuge in the country since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011.
However, Jordan has deported numerous Syrians and Yemenis over the last period. In the first half of 2017, Jordanian authorities deported on average 400 registered Syrian refugees every month.
AOHR UK reminds the Jordanian authorities that the country is a party to international convictions, which prohibits collective expulsion “in every case”. Moreover, Jordan is bound by the fundamental international legal principle of non-refoulement – a refugee must not be returned to any country if they face serious threats to their life or freedom there.
AOHR UK, therefore, demands that the threat against Hasnah al-Hariri, Ibrahim al-Hariri, and Raafat al-Salkhidee be withdrawn immediately – their lives depend on it.