Freedom of peaceful assembly continued to be curtailed, including under sweeping emergency legislation introduced in 2020. The authorities also restricted freedom of expression, both online and offline. Gender-based violence increased in the context of worsening economic conditions and Covid-19 restrictions, as well as due to the continuing lack of legal protection against such crimes. Jordan continued to host over 2.7 million refugees, all of whom were eligible for free Covid-19 vaccinations, but food insecurity among refugees rose sharply.



Jordan began its Covid-19 vaccine roll-out in January 2021 and, according to UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, was one of the first countries to offer free vaccinations to all, including refugees and asylum seekers.

In April, former crown prince Hamzah bin al-Hussein was placed under house arrest, accused of planning a coup, which he denied.

In June, King Abdallah ordered the formation of a 92-member royal committee to “modernize the legislative system”.

Jordan’s economic situation continued to deteriorate, partly due to the impact of Covid-19 measures. In September, the government reopened the country, but maintained the sweeping emergency law enacted at the start of the pandemic in 2020.



The authorities continued to curtail freedom of peaceful assembly, including by arbitrarily arresting people protesting against the government’s Covid-19 measures.

In March, protests erupted in the cities of Irbid, Salt, Aqaba and Karak after at least 10 Covid-19 patients died because of a shortage of oxygen in a government hospital in Salt. Protesters demanded accountability for the deaths and a halt to Covid-19 restrictions such as night curfews that they criticized as ineffective. In December, five individuals were sentenced to three years in prison after being found responsible for the patients’ deaths. The protesters also blamed the government for worsening economic conditions and called for an end to the emergency law, known as the defence law, which was used to limit civil and political rights. Security forces met demonstrators with force, including heavy use of tear gas.

To mark the 10th anniversary of the 24 March Movement, a 2011 youth-led movement calling for reform, protests were set to happen in Amman and the northern cities of Irbid, Mafraq and Ramtha to call for the end of the defence law and the cabinet’s resignation. However, security forces prevented individuals from joining the protests and arrested dozens of others. The interior minister stated that the government “would not tolerate protests that would worsen the health crisis.” All those arrested were released shortly afterwards.

May witnessed several days of protests in solidarity with Palestinians in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood. On 14 May, Jordanian riot police used tear gas and fired live ammunition in the air to disperse protesters near the King Hussein Bridge in the Jordan Valley.

On 30 June, authorities arrested members of the teachers’ trade union, including its head Nasser al-Nawasrah, hours before a planned march in solidarity with teachers forced into early retirement. Authorities had also arrested teachers protesting about the same issue in early January. All those detained were released soon after arrest.

Jordan Newsroom

June 17, 2019 • Report

The Mountain is in Front of Us and the Sea is Behind Us: The Impact of US Policies on Refugees in Lebanon and Jordan

When President Trump signed what has become known as the Muslim ban during his first week in office, he set into motion a series of events that continue to leave …

February 26, 2019 • Report

Human rights in the Middle East and North Africa: A review of 2018

The international community’s chilling complacency towards wide-scale human rights violations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has emboldened governments to commit appalling violations during 2018 by giving them …

March 23, 2016 • Report

Living on the margins: Syrian refugees struggle to access health care in Jordan

The combination of grossly inadequate support from the international community and barriers imposed by the government of Jordan are leaving Syrian refugees unable to access health care and other vital services, said Amnesty International in a new report published ahead of a major high-level meeting on responsibility sharing for Syrian refugees.

February 18, 2016 • Report

Amnesty International State of the World 2015-2016

International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

February 25, 2015 • Report

State of the World 2014/2015

This has been a devastating year for those seeking to stand up for human rights and for those caught up in the suffering of war zones. Governments pay lip service to the importance of protecting civilians. And yet the world's politicians have miserably failed to protect those in greatest need. Amnesty International believes that this can and must finally change.

May 20, 2013 • Report

Annual Report: Jordan 2013

Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Head of state King Abdullah II bin al-Hussein Head of government Abdullah Ensour (replaced Fayez al-Tarawneh) The security forces used excessive force and arrested hundreds of …

March 19, 2011 • Report

Annual Report: Jordan 2010

Head of state King Abdullah II bin al-Hussein Head of government Samir Rifai (replaced Nader al-Dahabi in December) Death penalty retentionist Population 6.3 million Life expectancy 72.4 years Under-5 mortality …

June 17, 2019 • Press Release

Report: Over Two Years Later, Families Still Left in Limbo After Trump’s Muslim Ban Face Impossible Circumstances

When President Trump signed what has become known as the Muslim ban during his first week in office, he set into motion a series of events that continue to leave …

October 10, 2016 • Press Release

Jordan: Aid deliveries to refugees trapped in desert must be followed by long-term solution

Reports about the resumption of humanitarian aid to 75,000 refugees stranded in a remote, arid area along the Jordanian-Syrian border called “the berm” are a long-awaited glimmer of hope that should be followed by a sustainable, long-term solution, Amnesty International said today.

September 26, 2016 • Press Release

Killing of Jordanian journalist a deplorable attack on freedom of expression

The shooting to death of a prominent journalist outside a court in Amman yesterday is an alarming attack on freedom of expression, said Amnesty International.