Attacks on trade union’s work undermines the rule of law and democracy
Detainees are held in inhumane conditions and subjected to torture and medical negligence
Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) condemned the Jordanian authorities’ crackdown on the Teachers’ Union and arresting a number of teachers and union members. The organisation stated that this behaviour undermines the rule of law and democracy guaranteed by local and international laws.
AOHR UK received a video recording of the Jordanian security services arresting a number of members of the Council of the Teachers Union, Karak branch, including the president of the council Qayid Al-Lasasma with no regards to his age or his health condition which seemed very deteriorating in the video recorded at the time of the arrest.
Professor Tarek Al-Bastinji, secretary of the council, and Professor Muayyad Al-Gawadra were also arrested without being informed of the reason for their arrest.
AOHR UK also stated that the arrest, which took place after a decision to close the union for two years, aimed to prevent protests and anti-government demonstrations, as the Jordanian government considers the union to be one of the main sources of the opposition in the country.
The arrested teachers were subjected to a number of violations including arbitrary arrest, detention in an inhumane condition and being subjected to severe torture to double their suffering.
In his testimony to AOHR UK, the brother of the detainee Amin Al-Tamouni, 44, described the suffering his brother was subjected to since his arrest, saying: “My brother was arrested on July 28th, in front of his house in As-Salt City by a security force of the Salt Intelligence Service. He was brutally beaten by informants, slapped and punched by the branch chief, then transferred to a detention centre in Al-Dabbana area of As-Salt City”.
According to what my brother told us during the visit; he is being held in a small cell with 30 other detainees, most of whom sleep on the floor. The cell and the bathroom are dirty and full of insects.”
“My brother’s health is at a critical stage due to the torture and beatings he suffered inside the intelligence headquarters. Being detained in an inhumane cell has contributed in the deterioration of his health. He suffers from cardiomyopathy disorders, chronic high blood pressure, and he needs medications and regular visits to the doctor, and this is not provided by the detention facility administration” he added.
A member of the Defence Committee of detainees told AOHR UK “all the arrests were against the law and without judicial warrants. Detainees were taken to the security headquarters, their detention was renewed by the prosecution on charges of inciting illegal gatherings, inciting hatred inside educational institutions, influencing the voter’s choices. These are all fabricated charges with no basis, since all the protests that took place were peaceful and inside or infront of the unions’ headquarters. The protests were organised against the non-implementation of the agreement signed between the union and the government last October, which included provisions that improved the conditions of the profession.”
AOHR UK called on the Jordanian authorities to respond to the demands of the masses which call for the freedom of the trade union work, the immediate release of all detained teachers, and dropping the charges against them.
The organisation stressed that the repressive approach in dealing with the teachers’ union will only result in more social problems, given the current difficult economic conditions suffered by Jordanians.