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Jordan must not deport the approximately 800 Sudanese asylum-seekers currently being held near Queen Ali International Airport in Amman, Amnesty International said today. The asylum-seekers were taken from outside UNHCR’s office in the capital Amman in the early hours of Wednesday morning and transferred to an industrial area by the airport.

“It is an absolute disgrace that Jordan is about to deport these asylum-seekers back to a country where they will be at real risk of human rights violations and their lives will potentially be in danger,” said Francesca Pizzutelli, Researcher in Amnesty International’s Refugee and Migrants Rights Team.

“Most of these people have fled from Darfur, where they would face a real risk of persecution, brutal repression and other human right violations by the Sudanese government in the region.

“It beggars belief that the Jordanian authorities are now resorting to brutality against these women, men and children who are seeking safe haven. Amnesty International received reports of at least one unconfirmed death, the use of tear gas and beatings. If these reports are confirmed, the action of the Jordanian authorities can only be described as despicable.”

For many years, Jordan has hosted hundreds of thousands of refugees from other countries, including more than 600,000 Syrians. Still, there is no justification for treating refugees and asylum-seekers this way. Amnesty International urges the authorities to meet their legal obligation to protect them. The forcible return of refugees and asylum-seekers is a direct violation of Jordan's obligations under international customary law and shows complete disregard for their rights and safety.