The authorities continued to restrict freedom of assembly, expression and association for journalists, political activists and workers through arbitrary detention and the use of repressive laws. Human rights defenders and journalists were targeted with surveillance. Women and girls continued to face discrimination in law and practice. Refugees faced challenges in accessing essential services due to cuts in international aid.  


The state of emergency declared at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 remained in force despite a statement by King Abdullah in May that it would be lifted in the next few months. The king restricted freedom of movement and contact with the outside world for former crown prince Hamzah bin Hussein, who was placed under house arrest in 2021 for allegedly planning a coup, an accusation he denied. In September, parliament adopted the Children’s Rights Law.  

Arbitrary Detention

Local governors continued to use the Law of Crime Prevention to administratively detain anyone considered “a danger to the people”, without charge or the ability to challenge their detention before a competent judicial authority. In March, the authorities used this law to arrest at least 150 activists, journalists, teachers and others in an apparent effort to stop them from organizing multiple protests, including one to commemorate youth-led anti-government protests that took place in March 2011. The authorities released all of them shortly after their arrest.  

freedom of expression

The authorities continued to use the Cybercrime Prevention Law and criminal defamation provisions under the Penal Code to suppress free speech. In February, the authorities arrested 11 political activists without a warrant and interrogated them in connection with “spreading false information” and “inciting sectarian and racial strife” under the Cybercrime Prevention Law and the Penal Code. Journalists Taghreed Risheq and Daoud Kuttab were detained on their entry to Jordan and interrogated at Amman’s international airport on 6 and 8 March, respectively, under the Cybercrime Prevention Law about their writing. Taghreed Risheq was released on bail the same day while Daoud Kuttab was released but ordered to appear before a court in Amman, the capital, where the judge ordered a temporary suspension of his arrest order. The same month, according to Reporters Without Borders, the authorities arrested and charged three journalists for “spreading fake news” in relation to their coverage of the Pandora Papers, which included leaked documents exposing the names of offshore companies, secret bank accounts and luxurious items belonging to business people, politicians and others, including King Abdullah. On 15 August, the authorities arrested Adnan al-Rousan, a writer and political activist, and charged him with “slandering an official body” and “spreading false and exaggerated news that undermines the prestige of the state”.