The Jordanian authorities continue to detain a number of activists for exercising their rights to expression, several of whom have begun an open-ended hunger strike against their imprisonment.
Sabri al-Mashaaleh and Muhammad Khalil al-Hawawsheh have begun an open-ended hunger strike today, Monday 20 February. They are demanding their immediate release and the halting of all judicial procedures against them.
In a statement to the media, the family of al-Mashaala has said that Sabri has informed the prison administration of his hunger strike.
They report that the State Security Court has indicted Sabri on several charges, including undermining the state and posing a danger to life.
Sabri al-Mashaala’s family report that he was arrested on 28 December 2022, after posting his support on Twitter for the peaceful truck drivers’ strike, which are in protest against rising fuel prices.
Muhammad al-Hawawsheh’s family also report that he began an open-ended hunger strike today.
They have said in media statements that Muhammad is currently being investigated by the public prosecutor, and that his case will be heard by the State Security Court.
No charges have been brought against him.
Al-Hawawsheh was arrested on 8 February following his participation in the truck drivers’ strike, and in several peaceful marches commemorating Jordan’s ‘24 March’ movement.
Jordan has seen widespread protests against the government’s decision to raise fuel prices, which it has not yet reversed, and an increase in unemployment and poverty in the country.
In 2021, the CIVICUS Monitor report, a global index of freedoms in nearly 200 countries and territories, downgraded Jordan from “obstructive” to “oppressive”.