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Jordan: Syrian Refugee, Atiya Mohammad at risk of deportation

On April 9, 2024, Jordanian security forces arrested Syrian refugee Atiya Mohammad Abu Salem while he was on his way to film pro-Gaza protests in Amman. His lawyer was informed that the authorities had issued a deportation order to return him to Syria, and he is currently detained at a security center.

Returning to Syria poses a significant risk of serious human rights violations for him, as the country is not safe. International law mandates that Jordanian authorities immediately stop his deportation and release him unless he has been charged with a recognized crime. If charged, he must be given all due process rights.

Here’s what you can do:

Write to the Jordanian Minister of Interior, urging him to:

  • Prevent the deportation of Atiya Mohammad Abu Salem to Syria, and either release him or formally charge him with a crime.
  • Ensure he is provided full due process rights, including access to legal representation and the ability to contest his detention.
  • Acknowledge that deporting him to Syria would breach the international principle of non-refoulement. This principle prohibits the deportation of individuals to countries where they are at risk of torture and other severe human rights abuses, and is absolute, allowing no exceptions.

Write to:

HE Mazin Abdellah Hilal Al Farrayeh

Minister of Interior

Ministry of Interior

Arjan Area Behind Regency Hotel

PO Box 100 Amman -11118

Amman, Jordan

Twitter: @moi_jor

Salutation: Your Excellency,

And copy:

Her Excellency Sabah Nizar Rashid Al Rafie


Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

100 Bronson Avenue, Suite 701

Ottawa, ON K1R 6G8

Tel: (613) 238-8090 Fax: (613) 232-3341

Email: ottawa@fm.gov.jo


Atiya Mohammad Abu Salem is a Syrian journalism student and freelance videographer who sought refuge in Jordan 12 years ago.

In Jordan, deportations are managed by the Ministry of Interior and implemented through a governor’s office. According to Law No.24 of 1973 on Residence and Foreigners’ Affairs, Articles 32 and 37 authorize the governor or the Minister of Interior to expel foreigners for illegal presence.

Article 19 allows the Minister to cancel a foreigner’s residency permit without providing a reason. Moreover, the Convention against Torture, to which Jordan is a signatory, prohibits expelling, returning, or extraditing a person to a state where they risk torture.

Amnesty International reports that Syrian authorities often target individuals who have fled the country, subjecting them to torture, arbitrary detention, and enforced disappearance upon their return. Therefore, Amnesty International advises against all returns to Syria, except voluntary ones.

Since October 7, 2023, Jordanian authorities have arrested at least 1,500 people, including approximately 500 since March following large protests outside the Israeli Embassy in Amman.

Please take action as soon as possible until June 13, 2024! The UA will be duly updated should there be the need for further action.