On July 25, the Attorney General froze the activities of the Jordanian Teachers’ Union for two years and ordered the arrest of all of its thirteen elected members.
These verdicts were followed by an order banning the media from covering the case. A few days later, thousands of teachers took to the streets to demonstrate their anger. While the 13 trade unionists were released on August 23 of this year, according to local sources, several demonstrators are still in prison.
The case dates back to April 2020, when the government cancelled a pay increase for teachers after lengthy negotiations in September 2019. Since then, the Teachers'’ Union stepped up protests until it was blocked by a court ruling.
By banning the media from covering teachers’ movements, Jordanian authorities sought to limit the damage caused by the protests. In a statement granted to the newspaper La Croix, the editor of the news website JO.24, Basil Okoor, said that journalists are not even allowed to give factual information about the situation.
Accused of violating the new rule by mentioning the demonstrations in his articles, Basil Okoor was summoned to the public prosecutor’s office on July 27.
It is important to note that Jordan is ranked 128 out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.