ADHRB at the UN : the export of Jordanian mercenaries to GCC countries

14 March 2019 – During the Item 6 UPR Outcome Review for Jordan, Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) along with the Iraqi Development Organization (IDO) took the opportunity to deliver an oral intervention expressing concern over ongoing human rights violations within the kingdom. Ms. Margaret McIntyre, speaking on behalf of IDO and ADHRB, sought answers from the Jordanian delegation regarding infringements upon freedom of expression and civil society, the export of mercenaries to GCC member states, and participation in war crimes in Yemen. Please continue reading for the full text of the statement, or click here to read in PDF form.


Mr. President,

IDO, along with ADHRB, would like to express concern about ongoing human rights violations in Jordan. While the Jordanian government has accepted recommendations related to protecting freedom of expression, Jordanian law still criminalizes any speech critical of the King, government officials, government institutions, foreign countries, and foreign policy decisions, especially when it comes to the Kingdom’s relations with the West and Gulf Cooperation Council states.

Furthermore, we have serious concern about the legal obstacles currently in place to restrict the registration of civil society organizations. What assurances can the Jordanian delegation provide in order to ensure such restrictions will be lifted?

Jordan is a member of the Saudi coalition that is leading a war of aggression on Yemen. International human rights organizations like Human Rights Watch and others have documented several attacks in Yemen which met the criteria of war crimes, leading to the killing of thousands of civilians. What role has Jordan played in these crimes and to what degree has Jordan participated in this war of aggression? How many Jordanian troops have been involved in the Saudi-led coalition? How much financial assistance has Jordan received from Saudi Arabia in exchange for their participation?

Concern should also be raised regarding Jordan’s policy of exporting military and security personnel to GCC countries, when these countries are full of Jordanian officials complicit in human rights violations, including the practice of torture. For example, Jordan has sent the following military and security personnel: Samer Jado, Bilal al-Hamayda, Samir al-Jabori, Taiser al-Khalaila, Zohair al-Asaf, Moath al-Daham, and hundreds more to Bahrain in order to participate in human rights violations. Can Jordan explain the following?

What is Jordan’s legal responsibility when sending mercenaries to Bahrain and other GCC countries to commit human rights violations against those countries’ citizens?

What type of training does Jordan provide to these mercenaries?

Does the government of Jordan receive financial compensation for providing such services to GCC countries?

Are these funds part of the Jordanian government’s general budget?

Thank you, Mr. President.