The Jordanian Teachers’ Association has been targeted by a news blackout, the latest in a series of repressive measures against the union.
On 16 August, the Magistrate’s Criminal Court in the Jordanian capital, Amman, imposed a blackout on news coverage related to cases brought against the Jordanian Teachers’ Association (JTA). The ban on press coverage applies to news, publications, and comments on trial proceedings.
This follows on the closure of the work of the union – and its headquarters - on 25 July. The closure by security forces was based on a decision of the Attorney General, with the Public Prosecutor ordering the arrest of leading JTA members.
These actions by the authorities have provoked peaceful demonstrations in several cities in Jordan. However, other JTA members and supporters have been arrested during those demonstrations.
Education International: Repression must stop
Education International immediately reacted to these Government abuses and urged an end to repression, the unconditional release of arrested persons, and the full respect of the fundamental rights of JTA members. It also urged its member organisations to write to the Government of Jordan in an urgent action appeal on 28 July.
Defence of trade union rights
Commenting on this act of repression, David Edwards, Education International’s General Secretary, said: “It is the latest action in a downward spiral of human rights violations. Not only have authorities banned the union and arrested leaders but are trying to ensure that trials are conducted in secret with no coverage by the press. Education International stands with the JTA in the defence of their trade union rights and of their collective agreement of October of last year.
“We call on member organisations that have not yet done so to contact Jordanian authorities and urge all who support human rights and democracy to sign the LabourStart online petition.”