Annual Report: Jordan 2010

Report
May 28, 2010

Annual Report: Jordan 2010

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  • An Indonesian domestic worker died on 7 March after her employers beat her apparently to "discipline" her. An autopsy found that she had been badly beaten on the head and had sustained broken ribs and severe bruising to her body. The couple who had employed her were charged with manslaughter.

Refugees

Jordan continued to host some 450,000 refugees from Iraq most of whom arrived after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Many maintained a precarious existence, without legal status and access to work or state support.

Violence and discrimination against women

Twenty-four women were reported to have been victims of "honour killings" by family members. Perpetrators of such killings continued to benefit from inappropriately lenient sentences under Article 98 of the Penal Code, which allows courts discretion to impose sentences of a minimum of three months' imprisonment on defendants considered to have killed while in a "fit of rage caused by an unlawful or dangerous act on the part of the victim". In August, the authorities established a special tribunal to try defendants accused of "honour crimes". In September, the Justice Minister said that the government planned to amend the Penal Code, including Article 98, but the proposed amendments were still awaited at the end of the year.

In May, the government told the UN Secretary-General that it would withdraw its reservation to Article 15(4) of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, which guarantees women freedom of mobility and to choose their place of residence, but would maintain its reservation to other elements of Article 15, including that guaranteeing women equality under the law with men.

Death penalty

At least 12 people were sentenced to death. The Justice Minister stated that the death sentences of four people became final, with no further right to appeal, and that 40 people were under sentence of death at the end of the year. In April, the Ministry of Justice announced that the Penal Code would be amended to abolish the death penalty for a number of crimes, although it seemed that pre-meditated murder would continue to be punishable by death. The proposed amendments had not received parliamentary approval by the end of the year.

Amnesty International report

Jordan must fully investigate suspected police killings (18 November 2009)