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    Removal of Jordan’s Emergency Laws that were Allegedly Used to Control Dissent during Pandemic Era

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    Jordan has ended the state of emergency laws that were put in place at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. These laws gave authorities the power to enforce an emergency state, which some groups say was used to suppress civic and political liberties. The royal decree that ended the state of emergency was approved by the cabinet and means that normal laws will be implemented once again. These laws had been suspended while the government enacted defense orders in response to the pandemic.

    The move to end the state of emergency comes just two days after the World Health Organization declared an end to COVID-19 as a global health emergency. Critics say that Jordanian authorities used their powers to quash political dissent and silence voices, despite calls from King Abdullah not to infringe on citizens’ political and civil rights. Human Rights Watch has accused Jordan of intensifying persecution and harassment of political opponents and ordinary citizens using a string of laws to silence critical voices.

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    Dozens of activists were imprisoned and harassed, and while officials deny widespread abuses, they say they will not tolerate civil unrest in Jordan at a time of economic hardship. The move to end the state of emergency laws is seen as a positive step toward increasing respect for basic rights.

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