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article imageTeachers jailed for raising concerns about COVID-19

By Tim Sandle     Aug 14, 2020 in Politics
In Jordan, the teachers' union had concerns about the way the government was handling the coronavirus crisis. The government's response was to arrest leading members of the union, raid the union offices and shut the union down for the next two years.
Following the the July 25, 2020 raid upon the Jordanian Teacher Association (JTA) union offices, as LabourStart reports, riot police were then deployed to break up peaceful demonstrations by teachers denouncing the crackdown on trade union rights. The actions taken by Jordanian authorities were carried out under emergency laws, normally designed to address matters of civil disobedience. The JTA had criticised the government for their poor handling of the coronavirus pandemic in relation to school provision.
The JTA has instigated a strike, forcing almost all schools to close. The demands of the strike are for those members arrested to be released. Jordan's Legal Affairs Minister Mubarak Ali Abu Yamin has declared the strike to be illegal, citing a breach of Article 5 of the Jordan Teachers Association’s own rules, which prohibits tampering with the rights of students to learn.
In response to the arrests, the Education International (which is an international grouping of education related trade unions) has called for the unconditional release of the union leaders. The workers' organization has also called for the lifting of the ban on the union, and the guaranteeing of the fundamental rights and democratic freedoms of educators and all workers. This includes their freedoms of opinion, expression, assembly and association.
The issue has not received widespread media attention and almost none within Jordan. This is partly because Amman Attorney General Hassan Abdallat has issued a gag order banning the publication, circulation or commenting on the arrests and forthcoming trial on social media, as the Jordan Times has reported.
More about Covid19, Teachers, Jail, Jordan
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