General: Jordan: GCHR Co-Director Khalid Ibrahim refused entry yet again
On 25 April 2016, Khalid Ibrahim, Co-Director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR), was refused entry to Jordan and detained at the Queen Alia International airport in Amman. He was on his way to attend an important civil society consultation meeting organised by the European Union.
Ibrahim arrived in Jordan expecting to participate in preparatory meetings of the EU Inter-Institutional Steering Group on Civil Society on 26 and 27 April, prior to the Civil Society Forum – Neighbourhood South being held the following month in Brussels.
He was detained in a room overnight with two police officers at a time, until his departure from the country the following morning. Ibrahim reports that he was well-treated and believes the police were just following orders.
This is the second time Ibrahim has been detained in this airport. In March 2014, he was detained in Amman and denied entry to take part in a UNESCO workshop. (See: https://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/618.) Since then, he has not been able to visit Jordan, but EU officials assured him he would be allowed entry.
He said, “I do not represent a threat to Jordan. GCHR does not function in Jordan, but what happened is part of the vicious campaign being waged by governments here in this region against human rights defenders in order to stop their peaceful and legitimate human rights work.”
The GCHR urges the authorities in Jordan to:
- Investigate the arbitrary detention and denial of entry of Khalid Ibrahim on his arrival in Amman and to publish an independent, thorough and impartial report;
- Guarantee that all human rights defenders will be allowed to enter and leave the country in accordance with relevant legislation; and
- Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Jordan are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.
The GCHR respectfully reminds you that the United Nations Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, adopted by consensus by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1998, recognises the legitimacy of the activities of human rights defenders, their right to freedom of association and to carry out their activities without fear of reprisals. We would particularly draw your attention to Article 6 (b and c): “Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others: (b) As provided for in human rights and other applicable international instruments, freely to publish, impart or disseminate to others views, information and knowledge on all human rights and fundamental freedoms; (c) To study, discuss, form and hold opinions on the observance, both in law and in practice, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and, through these and other appropriate means, to draw public attention to those matters”, and to Article 12 (1 and 2): “(1) Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to participate in peaceful activities against violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms. (2) The State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration.”