Human Rights Watch calls on Jordan not to deport Yemeni asylum seekers

Human Rights Watch on Tuesday called on Jordan not to deport Yemeni asylum seekers, warning that forcible deportation exposes them to “harm in Yemen.”

The rights watchdog said in a statement that “the Jordanian authorities have deported at least four Yemeni asylum-seekers registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and have issued deportation orders against others who made asylum claims.

According to the statement, the Jordanian authorities handed down most of the deportation orders after the Yemenis attempted to apply for work permits and regularise their immigration status in the country.

“Since January 2019, a Jordanian regulation has effectively prevented UNHCR from recognising anyone but Syrians as refugees, leaving many without access to humanitarian services and at risk of deportation,” it said.

READ: Mothers of abductees in Yemen call on UN to intervene

The statement quoted Michael Page, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch as saying that “Jordan’s reputation for welcoming refugees is tarnished if it sends people back who are at serious risk of harm in their home countries;” adding that the “Jordanian authorities need to match words with deeds by allowing individuals to safely make asylum claims and get services available to other refugee groups such as work permits”.

Jordan currently hosts an estimated 13,843 refugees and asylum seekers from Yemen.

Yemen has been suffering from a violent civil war since 2014 which has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions.


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