Jordania - Persecution of teachers’ union members continues

On 10 August 2021, Jordan’s security services interrupted a Jordan Teachers’ Association (JTA) protest in Karate, southern Jordan. Thirty teachers were arrested, including the deputy head of JTS, Nasser Al-Nawasra, and council members Kifah Abu Farhan, Abdul Salam Al-Ayasra and Ghaleb Abu Qadis, as they headed to Al-Thaniya roundabout in Karak, where the sit-in protest would have been held. Eyewitnesses reported that the security forces intensified their presence in the area, closed all roads leading to it to prevent teachers from arriving, conducted identity checks on those present in area, and detained a number of teachers and took them to a nearby government building. These actions violate the right to freedom of association, peaceful assembly and labour rights that are guaranteed in relevant local laws.
This latest incident follows the events of 25 July 2020 when police raided JTA headquarters in Amman and 11 of its branches across the country and detained all of its council members before releasing them over a month later.

On 29 September 2021, the attorney general rejected the appeal filed by the JTA against its dissolution and the one-year imprisonment of all its 14 board members.

On 5 October 2021, on the occasion of World Teachers’ Day celebrations, the Jordanian security forces again arrested and detained 14 leading members of the JTA. Riot police were deployed to stop peacefully demonstrating teachers denouncing the crackdown on trade union rights. The 14 members are Ahmad Ali Ahmad Alzaboun, head of the JTA; Nasser Nawasra, vice president of the JTA; and the following members of the JTA Council: Ghaleb Mansour Abu Qudia; Nidal Awwad Al Hisa; Kifah Suleiman Abu Farhan; Feras Awad Shteiwi Al Sarhan; Basil Mahmoud Al Houroub; Sulaiman Farhan Jaber Al Hayyer; Ibrahim Shaker Khalaf Assaf; Adbassalam assan Moussa Ayasra; Mustapha Annabeh; Iyad Albustanji; Moatassem Abdelrahman Beshtawy; and Noureddin Yusuf.
On 26 October 2021, the offices of the Jordanian Federation of Independent Trade Unions (JFITU) were stormed by the security forces. The security forces were used to also prevent the congress of the JFITU from taking place on 23 October 2021, in spite of compliance with Covid regulations, by threatening the owners of the venues they contracted to host the congress.
On 13 December 2020, the Ministry of Education sent a letter to the director of education instructing him to proceed with the early retirement of 25 employees based on provisions of article 64/A of the social security law no. 1 of 2014 and article 173/b of the civil service law no. 9 of 2020. Workers should refer to the General Organisation for Social Security to settle their financial rights. Up to today, at least 65 teachers have been forced into early retirement.
At least 18 JTA teacher unionists were arrested in Irbid, Jordan, in February 2021.
In a positive development, the Amman Court of Appeal decided on 31 October 2021 to cancel the decision to dissolve the Teachers’ Syndicate Council and to reject the lawsuit filed for its dissolution because it did not have a legal basis and there was lack of evidence. However, the JTA board members are still not allowed to resume work. Also, the government reinstated a few teachers, but the majority are still without jobs.

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