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Friday, July 06, 2012

Will anyone call this Jordanian action "apartheid"?

I noted back in April that Jordan was segregating Palestinian Syrians from other Syrians fleeing across the border, not allowing most of them to enter the country.

HRW just caught up:
The Jordanian authorities have forcibly returned some newly arriving Palestinians from Syria and threatened others with deportation, Human Rights Watch said today.Since April 2012, the authorities have also arbitrarily detained Palestinians fleeing Syria in a refugee holding center without any options for release other than return to Syria. The Jordanian authorities should treat all Palestinians from Syria seeking refuge in Jordan the same as Syrian asylum seekers, who are allowed to remain and can move freely in Jordan after passing security screening and finding a sponsor.

“To its credit, Jordan has allowed tens of thousands of Syrians to cross its borders irregularly and move freely in Jordan, but it treats Palestinians fleeing the same way differently,” said Gerry Simpson, senior refugee researcher and advocate for Human Rights Watch. “All those fleeing Syria – Syrians and Palestinians alike – have a right to seek asylum in Jordan, move freely in Jordan, and shouldn’t be forced back into a war zone.”

Since April, Jordanian authorities have automatically detained all Palestinians who enter Jordan without passing through an official border post, without the possibility of release. No such policy exists for thousands of Syrians entering the same way.

The Palestinians are arriving under the same circumstances as the fleeing Syrians and should not face threats of forced return, Human Rights Watch said. None should be detained unless for compelling and legally prescribed reasons and for a limited period of time, with judicial review. Like Syrian refugees, Palestinians from Syria interviewed by Human Rights Watch in Jordan said they had fled the country due to violence and general insecurity in their home areas.
Isn't this "apartheid"?

Where are the protests, the boycotts, the empty-headed entertainers who are so keen on showing how well they understand human rights? Where are the "pro-Palestinian" groups? Where are the petitions and Twitter hashtags and Facebook groups?

I mean, these are Palestinian Arabs being discriminated against, which usually elicits outrage because they are so victimized.

I can't figure out why this issue has been essentially ignored.

A real mystery.

(h/t Ian)