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Human Rights Council: 17th Session of Universal Periodic Review Working Group, Geneva, 21 October to 1 November 2013

Statement by UK Mission Geneva on Jordan's Universal Periodic Review, 24 October 2013

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The UN Building in Geneva
The Universal Periodic Review is taking place at the Palais des Nations, Geneva

Mr President

The UK welcomes the positive steps taken by Jordan towards implementing the 2009 UPR recommendations, including the constitutional amendments made in 2011.

Since 2011 Jordan has shown great hospitality in hosting over half a million Syrian refugees. We pay tribute to Jordan’s long standing history of hospitality, and we urge member states to support Jordan in coping with this influx. The UK hopes that Jordan will continue to provide refuge to those fleeing the conflict, including Palestinian refugees.

Whilst welcoming progress made on Freedom of Expression since 2009, we are concerned that Jordan has taken a step backwards this year with the implementation of the amended Press & Publications Law and the resultant closure of almost 300 news websites.

The UK welcomes King Abdullah’s recent order to the government requesting an amendment to the law governing the State Security Court. We support moves which reduce the Court’s jurisdiction and its ability to try civilians.

The UK has two recommendations for the government of Jordan.

First, that Jordan amends the law to ensure greater guarantees for freedom of opinion and expression in line with article 15(1) of the amended Jordanian Constitution and Article 19 of the ICCPR.

Second, that Jordan amends its penal code to ensure its articles, in particular Article 149, cannot be used as a mechanism to refer genuine political activists.

Thank you.

Published 24 October 2013